Ep. 51 – Preparing for Succession

Rochelle Clarke, global strategist and business succession expert, helps family businesses overcome barriers to succession transitions. With nearly 20 years of professional experience, Rochelle combines a variety of best practices and practical solutions to balance strategic thinking and operational practicality for businesses of all sizes.


Succession Strength was founded by Global Strategist and Business Succession Expert, Rochelle Clarke. With an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and experience working for international businesses including Fortune 500 companies like Accenture, IBM, and Heineken, Rochelle brings about 20 years of experience to Succession Strength. She and her team of business experts including an organizational psychologist guide family businesses through the communication, preparation and execution phases of their business transitions.


We had great fun recording this episode and we discussed how expectations are managed during those sometimes difficult discussions around succession. 


You can find out more about Rochelle here: https://successionstrength.com/


On twitter: @SuccessionStre1

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rochelleclarke/

Ep. 50 – What is Family Business Consulting?

It gets a bit emotional in this episode but we are emotional beings and this can be especially so when you work with your family. 


John Tucker is a colleague, a mentor and importantly a friend. He has been working with family businesses for almost 30 years and he explains in this podcast why he does what he does and how. 


John’s methodology, which I have been fortunate enough to develop myself, is based on a combination of Process Consulting and Systems Thinking and this combination along with a huge amount of empathy and emotional intelligence allows John to call himself one of the leading Family Business Consultants in the world. 


I hope you enjoy this episode and if you want to get in touch with John you can do so john@thefbc.co.uk or on Linked In 



Ep. 49 – Disruption with Prof. John A Davis

The word disruption can have negative connotations, it can make you feel uncomfortable and wary. But, it can also be an opportunity to change, an opportunity to pivot and embrace change. 


In this episode we speak with Prof. John A Davis on MIT Sloan bout his new role, what his research on disruption shows and how firms can adapt to this. 


We also discuss the impact of increased longevity on family firms and tips to help. 


We also chat to John about what he means when he says that family business members should adopt an ‘Owners Mindset. 


You can find out more about John and his work here: 


https://twitter.com/ProfJohnDavis on Twitter and;

https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-davis-61aab322/ on Linked In.


You can also find our more about the programs that John talks about here: 


Future Family Enterprise Program

May 5-10, 2019

(For 2nd generation-controlled businesses or later)

The Future Family Enterprise program leads multigenerational families through a stimulating week-long conversation that produces clarity on the path ahead for each participating family and its enterprise. Your family will learn practical concepts and tested practices—organized around examples of multigenerational success and failure—to aid your thinking, improve your long-term planning and alignment, and shape the roadmap of your family enterprise system.



Founder to Family Program

July 22-26, 2019

(For 1st generation-controlled businesses only)

Successful founder–stage businesses are enviable powerhouses in many ways, but they face unique and complex challenges as they transition to the second generation of sibling owners and leaders. Given the role of the founder and the nature of sibling relationships, these first–to–second generation transitions are often complicated and emotionally sensitive experiences. They need to be pragmatically designed and sensitively implemented for the survival of the business and the unity of the family. This program explores the crucial issues, useful strategies, necessary planning, and pivotal conversations required to implement an effective handoff to the second generation—and to shape a meaningful future role for the founder.


Ep. 48 – Cobblers! The Timpson Group Story

Timpson is one of the most recognised names on the UK High Street and Sir John Timpson, as Chairman of the business founded by his great grandfather chats to us about the management style adopted at the businesses over 2,000 branches. 


In this interview I chat to Sir John about the history of the business, the fantastic culture that has been created and the challenges that were faced in convincing management that it was a good idea. 


We also talk about Sir John and his late wife, Alex. They fostered over 90 children and we discuss the synergies between the environment that he and Alex created for the children they looked after and the one created within the business.


My parents fostered children when I was young so I understand the huge amount of dedication needed to do this. I have made a modest donation to The Alex Timpson Trust and would be delighted if you were able to join me. The link to make a donation is below: 



Ep. 47 – Pitfalls of Leadership

Caroline Gourlay is an independent Business Psychologist. Since qualifying in 1997 she has worked with a diverse range of organisations in the public and private sectors, either directly or as an associate of larger consultancies.


In this episode we discuss the pitfalls that can impact on leadership and how to avoid these pitfalls. 


Some of these are specific to family business others are more general pitfalls that seem to impact on most businesses and Caroline offers some fantastic tips and practical solutions to these pitfalls. 


You can find out more about Caroline here: http://carolinegourlay.co.uk/index.php


You can follow her on Twitter here: @CarolineGourlay


Linked In here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caroline-gourlay/


The blogs that we reference are here: https://carolinegourlay.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/six-pitfalls-of-family-business-leadership/


and here: https://carolinegourlay.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/so-youre-a-leader-what-do-you-actually-do/ 

Ep. 46 – Transparency and Engagement

Here in the UK there are some new rules coming into force in January that are primarily aimed at large privately owned businesses. 

This will include many family owned businesses and so we speak to Matt Timmons and Suzi Woolfson from PwC about what these changes are and what they mean for your business. 

If you are a smaller business that isn’t affected, or based outside the UK it is still worth a listen as these rules seem to be encouraging transparency and other measures that could be adopted by most if not all businesses as part of their corporate and family governance. 

You can find out more about the new rules here: https://www.pwc.co.uk/private-business-private-clients/insights/corporate-governance-time-to-act.html

And you can follow Suzi on Twitter here: @SuziLDavis

You can follow Matt on Twitter here: @MatthewTimmons7

Ep. 45 – The 100 year old Family Business

No business remains the same after a 100-year journey. Every long-lasting family enterprise learns how to navigate developmental and business crises as it crosses generations.


Dennis’ paper presents the business journeys of the nearly 100 long-lasting families in our study.


Their resilience stems from continual innovation and transformation. We look at their major transformations—harvesting, pruning, diversifying and grounding—and at how the family is able to build an adaptive, sustainable culture.


This was an interview originally recorded for The FFI who have very kindly allowed me to use it here – enjoy! 


You can find out more about Dennis’ work here: http://dennisjaffe.com/


And you can buy a copy of the study here: http://dennisjaffe.com/publications/

Ep. 44 – Trapped in the Family Business

There are lots and lots of articles and websites that rightly highlight the huge positives of working with your family, but very often we hear from people who are feeling trapped and isolated within the family business. 

Michael is the founder of MK Insights, LLC and has 17+ years of experience as a consultant, assessment specialist, business coach, and facilitator. 

In his book ‘Trapped in the Family Business’ Michael shares experiences of those family members he has worked with that feel trapped in the business and offers solutions to them. 

Feeling trapped can be turned into a positive and we discuss how in this insightful and informative episode. 

You can find out more about Michael and his book here: 




Ep. 43 – The Three Circle Model – 40 years on

Professor John A. Davis, FFI Fellow, is a pioneer in the family enterprise field and a globally recognised authority on family enterprise, family wealth and family office topics. He has created some of the most impactful concepts and frameworks used in the field.

In 2018, he joined the MIT Sloan School of Management faculty to build an innovative portfolio of family enterprise programs, after leading the family enterprise area at Harvard Business School for more than 20 years. He is also the founder and chairman of Cambridge Family Enterprise Group, where he advises some of world’s leading enterprising families.

He is the recipient of the 2016 Richard Beckhard Practice Award.

The Model is now 40 years old and we discuss what it is, how it can be used by families and their advisers and what future trends John sees within the world of Family Business! 

It was a real honour to speak to John, and his knowledge, as you would expect, is exceptional. I am sure you will love this episode and if you want to get in touch with John he can be found:

Twitter: @ProfJohnDavis 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-davis-61aab322/

John’s website is: www.johndavis.com

Link to Bivalent Attributes of the Family Firm: https://www.sehity.com/uploads/4/2/2/4/42243697/1.pdf 



Ep. 42 – The Family Business Network

We often hear that family businesses can feel isolated as they do not have a support network or peers that they can speak to.

The Family Business Network is a support network in Cumbria, Lancashire and now Yorkshire providing family businesses with a safe space to share their challenges. We speak to Sue Howorth and Dave Clarkson to hear about what support is available.

We discuss the importance of a network that can support families on a business and individual level. 

The use of Insight and Fishbowl events to share experiences and the growing Family Business Conference held in October in Kendal. 

You can find out more about the network here: http://fambiznet.co.uk/

You can follow Sue on Twitter here: @sue_howorth

The Family Business Network here: @Fambiznet

Dave here: @DSC_Langleys