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A 21st Century of Entrepreneurial Families

Expert Randel Carlock discusses the importance of entrepreneurial families in the 21st century at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center on Dec. 10, 2010. (2 min., 39 sec.)

Expert Randel Carlock discusses the importance of entrepreneurial families in the 21st century at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center on Dec. 10, 2010. (2 min., 39 sec.)

HONG KONG, December 10, 2010 - The family is the business model for the 21st century, says Randel Carlock, Berghmans Lhoist Chaired Professor in Entrepreneurial Leadership at INSEAD. In an address to the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Carlock stated: "Widely traded companies run by people getting huge bonuses is not what's going to stabilize our economies or create jobs or create value in our community."

Family businesses serve the needs of their community. What Carlock underscored was his belief that these enterprises view the community as part of their family. Not only are family businesses more willing to invest long-term, but they also view such decisions as business risks and not financial.

"The 21st century will be about how Asian family businesses make that transition from entrepreneur to entrepreneurial families,"he said.

Carlock, co-author of When Family Businesses Are Best: The Parallel Planning Process for Family Harmony and Business Success, says family businesses face five conflicting demands: culture, career, capital, connection, and control. They use communication and effective planning to deal with all five demands. 

"With most family businesses, the business plan is good but it just doesn't work in the family. How can we help families become professionally emotional?"

He urged heads of family businesses to engage their children in formal dialogues about the business, and underscored that preparation and merit were the best ways to ensure a successful family business.

Reportedby Penny Tang, Asia Society Hong Kong Center