Author: Jen

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As Mother’s Day approaches, we celebrate the unique relationship between mothers and daughters in business. Undoubtedly, the connection between a mother and daughter can be a strong bond. Mothers are often there to advise during difficult times, while daughters represent the ambitions of the...

Recently, news reached us of a local family-owned company’s closure after 70 years in business. While the specifics behind their decision are unknown, it served as a reminder that at some point in their life cycle, all family businesses come to a crossroads and...

In organizational psychology, few concepts have garnered as much attention and debate as the Peter Principle. Coined over 50 years ago by Laurence J. Peter, this principle highlights the tendency for individuals to be promoted to positions beyond their level of competence, leading to...

Resilience is one of those buzzwords that seems to be everywhere the last few years. And for good reason. In a crisis, resilient organizations don’t just survive – they rebound quickly and come out stronger and more prepared for the next challenge. Some of...

In the realm of family business, especially those where husband-wife teams, siblings, or multiple generations are working together, the dynamics are intriguingly complex. Family businesses aren’t just about profits and market shares; they embody deep emotional bonds and legacies. Central to these dynamics is...

As we reflect on the past few years, it’s apparent that we’ve navigated through what was a life-changing experience on a worldwide scale. The pandemic, a defining moment in our lives, taught us resilience, adaptability, and the importance of proactive leadership. Now, as we...

The people practices that brought your organization to where it is today, may not be enough to propel you forward into the future. That’s certainly true of succession strategy, where the traditional approach of preparing people for specific roles is like trying to use...

Leadership is often tested in the face of persistent challenges. Picture this: a sudden cash flow issue, the unexpected departure of a key team member, a critical hiccup in quality control – any of these can jolt an organization out of its regular routine....

If you find yourself racing toward the end of the year like a runner to the finish line, you're not alone. At work, the last quarter of the year can be busier than all the other months combined. At home, the holidays are approaching...

By Margaret Wilson, Tandem Partners & Ann Quinn, Quinn Strategy Group There are times in every organization’s lifecycle when everything hums along without a bump in the road. At moments like this, it can be tempting to take your eye off strategy and simply enjoy...

By Margaret Wilson, Tandem Partners & Ann Quinn, Quinn Strategy Group In a world marked by constant flux and the unforeseen, the ability to adapt is important to individuals and organizations alike. If we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that the readiness...

Did you know that by 2026, Fortune 500 companies – the iconic list of largest companies in the U.S. by revenue – are projected to maintain their status for an average of only 14 years? That duration is less than half what it was...

By Margaret Wilson, Tandem Partners & Ann Quinn, Quinn Strategy Group It’s no secret that winning organizations have both a clear strategy and a cohesive team (what we call a People Strategy). After all, fast-paced organizations operating in dynamic environments know that building team cohesion...

Here’s a question to ask the managers in your organization: “What kind of employees do we want to have in our workforce? Employees who think for themselves? Or workers who mechanically do only what we tell them to do, exactly when and how we...

By Margaret Wilson, Tandem Partners & Ann Quinn, Quinn Strategy Group As advisors to leaders and teams, we’re often asked, “Can people be taught to think strategically?” Our answer is an unequivocal “Yes.” While some people are born with a predisposition to thinking long term...

Like many of you, members of our team belong to professions that require us to be licensed to practice. So every year, we engage in continuing education, just like our friends who are social workers, engineers, estheticians, and architects. We do it to comply...

Be honest – how many times has something like this happened to you? Your company is working on a big project and your team members have defined roles. One of your employees runs into a roadblock with an assignment and comes to you for...

As winter comes to an end, it’s a great time to clear out the cobwebs and invite fresh air into your business. Just as dust and dirt are a natural byproduct of living in our homes, clutter comes with normal business operations. Over time,...

As the final season of the hit series “Succession” unfolds, fans of the Roy family’s power struggles will be glued to their sets. While the show may be an overly dramatic portrayal of a family enterprise, it serves as a reminder that the critical...

By Margaret Wilson, Tandem Partners & Ann Quinn, Quinn Strategy Group We’re well into the new year now and the economy continues to give out mixed signals. Growth has slowed, but half a million jobs were added last month. Inflation is high but consumers are...

If you’re a senior leader in a family enterprise, you’re probably bombarded on a regular basis with pleas to begin succession planning: Your attorney is concerned about avoiding income and estate taxes, and disputes over control. Your CPA says you need an updated valuation...

Have you ever noticed that family conflict seems to surface more around the Holidays than at any other time of year? For many families, Thanksgiving is a time to gather together, share a meal and renew family ties. Unfortunately for others, it’s an opportunity...

Running an early stage business often poses the classic “can’t see the forest for the trees” dilemma. You’re so focused on the next project, the next sale or the next new hire that you may not see the larger picture of where your business...

Recently, Margaret Wilson appeared on Java with Jim Ries, Director of Business Development at Offit | Kurman to discuss the origin of Tandem Partners and its dedication to helping families, owners and businesses in transition....

Employee burnout is real. And while it’s not new, during COVID it got worse. During the last two years, compounding pressures including hybrid work and high turnover have impacted the stress that employees feel, their ability to do their work, and whether they’ll look...

Has anyone complained to you recently about a lack of communication in your organization? Are you hearing that people feel like they don’t know what’s going on? Maybe you’ve even privately thought this to yourself. Or maybe, like others in this time of resignations...

When you were younger, did you ever participate in a spelling bee? I recently reconnected with some childhood friends and it reminded me of something I hadn’t thought of in a long time – the day I lost the 5th grade spelling bee. I...

When it comes to succession, it’s usually a senior leader who initiates and spearheads the transition process. In a previous blog (Succession Planning: Why It Matters, Matters), we explored how important it is for that leader to have a strong and focused rationale for...

By Margaret Wilson & Ann Quinn | This time last year, we thought we were looking back on the longest 12 months ever. We couldn’t have known then that 2021 would be equally challenging and memorable. Yet even now, when things have...

During the mid-1930s, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello introduced their famous vaudeville comedy sketch “Who’s on First?” about a fictitious baseball team. As they try to communicate with each other about the various players, the conversation becomes more and more confusing. Toward the end...

If you’ve spent any time around the family business arena, you’ve come across the number: 70% of family companies don’t make it to a second generation, either because the business fails or for other reasons a decision is made to sell to a third...

Many leaders, when they think about succession, have a narrow definition in mind. For example, one owner might be lasered in on who will own shares in the future and whether to sell or transfer them. Another may be preoccupied with who will be...

Early in our business lives, we adopted the mantra “Think – Plan – Do.” It has long been a reminder to us to dream big, plan ahead and execute well. In that order. But sometimes, we find ourselves thinking up good ideas, and then...

At the end of every year, we take some time to work on our long-range plans. We get away from the office to review the year, including our successes and disappointments. We share goals for ourselves, our family, our business and as a couple....

We’ve just taken down the Holiday decorations and packed them safely away for another year. The last to be wrapped in tissue is always our Golden Retriever-slash-Angel tree topper in memory of Max, a sweet girl who was part of our family for almost...

Here’s a question to ask the managers in your family business:   “What kind of employees do we want to have in our workforce?  Employees who think for themselves?  Or workers who mechanically do only what we tell them to do, exactly when and how...

At a recent meeting, a business family I’ve been working with expressed how frustrated they were with the lack of apparent progress toward their succession goals. As the conversation began, the group appeared to be divided, with half insisting, “it’s not all that bad,”...

If your family business has communication problems, you're not alone. There are an estimated 24 million family businesses in America, ranging from your corner gas station to corporate giants like Walmart and Hallmark. Regardless of size, however, many family businesses rank communication among the...

It has been suggested that many family business problems stem from the inherent conflict between the distinct, yet overlapping parts of the family business system. Each part of the family business system – business, family and ownership – has a distinct set of needs,...

When You Come to a Fork in the Road… Take It – Yogi Berra Each of us makes hundreds of decisions every day – from what to wear to when to eat to whether to drive to work or take the train. Many of...

Running a successful family business requires broad experience and a diversity of talents – talents that not even the most capable families can guarantee generation after generation. In addition, qualified on family executives can help a family business grow by contributing fresh ideas and...

In Greek mythology, there’s only one figure whose character matures over time: Telemachus, son of Odysseus and Penelope, immortalized in Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey. The poem mainly centers on Odysseus and his long journey home after the fall of Troy. During his absence,...