The majority of the world’s enterprises today are family firms.  That is according to David S. Landes, Professor Emeritus of History and Economics at Harvard and author of Dynasties – – Fortunes and Misfortunes of the World’s Great Family Businesses. Dynasties is a fascinating book which highlights the prevalence and importance of family businesses in the United States and throughout the world. 

David Landes reports that even today, about one-third of Fortune 500 companies are effectively family controlled or have founding families significantly involved in their management. 

Business succession planning – – whether with family members or non-family members – – can be enormously beneficial to all those involved in the business.  Lack of planning can have serious consequences.  While all businesses face external threats, it is frequently lack of internal planning – – especially succession planning – – that causes the business to decline or even fail.