By Dan Beenken
Another season of the UNI Family Business Center is in the books. Just like generational family businesses, we continue to transition from one year to the next. We look back at our last year of programming and think about what is to come.
This past year was massive for our program as we were awarded Center status thanks to the Iowa Board of Regents. It showed how far our program has come and how much need there is across Iowa for family business-focused services.
We also launched our first Iowa Family Business Conference. To those who were able to make it, thank you so much! To those that missed it, have no fear – we will b... Read More
By Dan Beenken
Our last Breakfast Series session focused on how to have tough conversations as a family. We drew a lot on the concept that difficult topics often get swept under the rug until they become giant “Jerry Springer moments” with our business family.
I wanted to take a minute to reflect on some things I learned from our panelists (Heidi Vermeer-Quist of VQ Consult and Warren Jacobs and Warren Phillips of Transformative Workplace Solutions). So here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
1. Start with YOURSELF
The ability to have a crucial conversation on a sensitive family business topic (Entitlement, Poor job performance, Compensatio... Read More
Family Business Feature: Next generation leadership at Stutsman's keeps us ‘grounded to our roots and values’
By Katie Kreis
The mission at Eldon C. Stutsman Inc. (Stutsman’s) is “to serve for success,” a motto that shines through from how they interact with customers to employee satisfaction and leadership values. Located in Hills, the multigenerational family business began in 1934 when Eldon C. Stutsman started a milk route that soon became an opportunity to transport supplies to and from town. According to Stutsman’s, the business is now Eastern Iowa’s largest supplier of agricultural products, retail and wholesale.
Internally, Stutsman’s is serving up success to its next generation of leaders.... Read More
By Dan Beenken
Succession planning is such a vital part of all family businesses that we are devoting a regular column to it. In the first articles about retirement, I spent time discussing ways that the current generation can find ways to begin the process.
I want to turn to a specific item on the checklist that I see as vital for a family to move from generation one to generation two (or generations three, four or five, for that matter... Read More
Last time we talked, we discussed the need to have something to retire to—something new to provide you with meaning and challenges and attempt to match the fulfillment you’ve gotten from being a business owner all these years.
My friend Tom Hubler has devoted his career to business families and has his own company. In his book "The Soul of Family Busines," he spends considerable time discussing some of the ways business owners, founders or outgoing family leaders can work on their next phase. For anyone who falls in those three categories, we can apply something Tom calls the entrepreneur’s checklist. I really like it for a variety of reasons, but two... Read More
Today, I’m going to talk about the “R” word. (No, not raisins—yuck!) Retirement: the final frontier!
When we hear of someone’s retirement, many will ask, "What are you retiring from?" For the next couple of paragraphs, I want to flip that a bit. What are you retiring TO? This is the question to be asking, and the question all business owners need to take the time to process.What am I going to do next? How will I make this next stage of my life meaningful to me? Where will I find purpose? What will I enjoy? What will get me out of the house and keep my spouse off my case? ... Read More