Case Studies (header)

Case Study: Finding Harmony – Tourism Company

Peter Goodson, the son of the company's founders, has been active in family tourism business
for ten years. Uncertain about whether he'll stay in firm, including eventually taking it over. His
mother, Marianne, also the company's President, has a health scare, and his parents decide to
retire. There is enormous pressure from other family members for Peter to 'step up to the plate' to
keep family business going. Working with his coach, Peter discovers a passion for the most
viable arm of the family firm. He decides to discuss staying on with company, but shifting its focus
to the part of the business with strongest potential. His coach helps Peter identify clear goals for
himself and the business, and prepare for conversation with his parents. The Goodson family is
currently working through this transition period, with the end goal of transferring the business to
Peter, so that he can focus on a particular arm of the company.

Case Study: Passing the Torch – Financial Services

John Barlett, the founder of a family firm is near retirement age, and his adult children have been
active in the business all their lives. They're eager to take over the business, but John has spent
his life building the business, and wants to continue working. His wife, Margaret, is caught
between her husband and their children. And the children are struggling, too, as each wants to
become president. Family dinners are more like board meetings, and everyone is in distress. A
friend of John and Margaret's suggests coaching, and John agrees to try it. Working with his
coach, he explores his dreams and plans, and what life might look like if he did retire from active
management of the business. The coach also works with each of the children to explore what's
important to them, their vision for the business, and how they see themselves moving forward
with the company. The eldest son, David, decides he was never really happy in the family firm,
and opts to explore other career options. One daughter, Julianne, develops a strategy to expand
the business, which she presents to her father. John begins to think through a succession and
retirement plan, in consultation with his wife and their trusted professionals (such as the compa-
ny's accountant, lawyer, and financial planner).

Case Study: Understanding the Second Generation – Auto Parts Manufacturer

Family business founder Arnold Nelson engages a coach to work with his three children, all of
whom work for the business. Arnold is eager for his children to understand more about the busi-
ness (feels they've been 'too privileged' and 'don't really get it') before he can retire with confi- dence. With coaching, each of his offspring identifies goals and makes commitments to action
plans, with each deciding independently that they aren't interested in continuing with family busi-
ness (and that this has been the reason for their unfocused behaviour). Siblings share this news
with their father, and help him prepare the business for sale.

Case Study: Clarifying the Vision – Entrepreneur

Debbie Appleyard has been developing her professional practice for more than a decade, and as
her reputation grows, she is grappling with whether to take on more staff and expand the scope
of her business. Her home life is busier, with young children, and a full schedule of extra-curricu-
lar activities. Working with her coach, Debbie recognizes that personal service is one of her core
strengths, and that growing the business would create additional management responsibilities,
and take her away from the work she does best. As a result of working with her coach, she
decides to define a specific niche, fine tune her company's list of services, strengthen her brand,
and increase her fees.

 

 

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