Avoiding "Purgatory": The Founders Dilemma

Struggling to get the reigns of the family business is a step-by-step process

Struggling to get the reigns of the family business is a step-by-step process

Founders Syndrome, or what is otherwise termed as the 'founder's dilemma' or the 'founder's trap' is described by Wiki as "a popular term for a difficulty faced by organizations where one or more founders maintain disproportionate power and influence following the effective initial establishment of the project, leading to a wide range of problems for the organization."

The 'Project', of course, being the establishment of the family enterprise where many times it was by sheer will, sleepless nights and years of toil and the step-by-step building of the foundations for business that the next generation is in line to carry on.

Although it is not exclusively the 'first' generation of family business where this 'syndrome' crops its challenging head as the same effect occurs in the second and third generations where each generation has difficulty passing the reigns to the following.

Whether you are the 'founder' (or the managing generation about to pass on the 'family farm') or you are the next generation in line to take on the management of the family trade, the approach to avoiding or getting out of this 'trap' lies in the willingness to be 'purposeful' in your plan of transition.

Without a step-by-step ‘founder’ transition plan, next-gen operations can feel as clumsy as Leap-Frogging

Without a step-by-step ‘founder’ transition plan, next-gen operations can feel as clumsy as Leap-Frogging

"Una Cosa La Vez"

One of my favorite expressions in Spanish is 'una cosa la vez' because it describes how to approach the most difficult challenges on any topic.  In the following sentence in Spanish, the lesson learned by this shows clearly;

"Esforzarse en lograr hacer más de una cosa a la vez, aumenta los niveles de estrés y disminuye el sentido de control y la productividad." which translates;

"Striving to accomplish more than one thing at once revs up the stress level and decreases one's sense of control and productivity."

'One thing at a time' regarding the Founder's dilemma suggests that for a 'founder', after all the hard work of setting up or protecting the business through difficult times or any other sorts of challenges along the path, letting go of more that "one thing" at a time may be asking for too much.

In the example above, the reference states "One's sense of control and productivity".  For the 'receiving generation', it is critical to consider what the founding owner/manager is feeling regarding their sense of purpose, control and playing a productive part in the ongoing operation.  Transitions should always consider each element of the founder's authority and responsibility and work to transition every 'element' and not make the common error of simply asking the founder to 'step aside' before he or she is ready. 

The first way to resolve this, or anything for that matter, is to recognize the issue or challenge and then secondly to have a plan or solution to work through it.

Taking the leap from one generation to the next take preparation & training….this includes the “Founder”

Taking the leap from one generation to the next take preparation & training….this includes the “Founder”

When one of my friends’ father was preparing to retire as General Manager of a huge conglomerate cereal company, General Mills, the company invested upwards of two years to evaluate the 'readiness' of their manager to enter into 'retirement' as the transition from intense management responsibilities to resting and 'sleeping in' is a transition that is challenging at best.  The emotional and even physical changes in the day to day environment require transitioning and the process is set up to transition individual aspects of responsibilities one at a time.

When you are considering or moving toward transitioning one family member or a generation of family members from one level of responsibility to the next, remember my little saying "Una cosa la vez" and you may find that eating an elephant isn't as hard as you thought it would be.

Nick Karavidas has dedicated over 3 decades to building and managing family business in the wine and vineyard trades. His specialty is solidifying trust within the family and staff as a priority to effectively manage family businesses and transition successfully from one generation to the next. Sign up for a Family Legacy Session Today by scheduling a free Legacy Coaching Call here: https://calendly.com/consultingwine/45min-legacy

We All Leave a Legacy......but will it cause our family and business to grow?

We All Leave a Legacy......but will it cause our family and business to grow?

Most family business owners plan for financial succession but fail to structure a comprehensive plan as to how the family business will operate into the next generation. From policy making to family councils to academic requirements for future family managers, Legacy Transition planning involves coaching and the tools necessary to succeed into the next generation.

Dumb Data: Why Simple is Better

Dumb Data: Why Simple is Better

Business planning and family business planning are different only in the aspect that family businesses generally mean we’re working primarily with family members rather than non-family employees. Either way, we’re working with people……people who think a certain way. If we desire to communicate more effectively with our families and our employees, look at how ‘Fortune’ Companies align communication to consumers as a key to how we might more effectively communicate within our own family businesses.

Wine Business Monthly - DTC Network Launch

DTC Wine Workshops Launches the DTC Consultant Network to Serve Wineries Nationally

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Date: 09/10/14


Castro Valley, CA- September 10, 2014 -- DTC Wine Workshops announced the founding members of the recently launched DTC Consultant Network, a full-service consulting group connecting wineries with subject matter experts throughout the nation to grow direct to consumer (DTC) wine business, expand brand awareness and retain loyal customers.

The twelve founding members are: Janet Majors, Christopher Huber, Sandra Hess, Nicholas Karavidas, Mitch Tarr, Karen Barnes, James Davenport, Hilarie Larson, John Gavin, Marc Engel, Shaun McDonald and Adrienne Stillman.

This group of industry specialists offer deep expertise across a range of subject areas including e-commerce, CRM, wine marketing, tasting room goal metrics and training, wine club set up and  management, web design, social media and data management.

“Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in direct-to-consumer wine sales across the U.S. Yet, many wineries struggle with how to approach and maintain this important sales
channel,” said Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops. “We’ve launched the DTC Consultant Network in response to this industry need, with a goal to help wineries identify the right tools and processes to achieve long term success for their brands.”

By bringing together consultants with diverse backgrounds, the DTC Consultant Network is able to offer wineries a holistic solution for all DTC wine sales and marketing needs. Clients work with Network members on a project-by-project basis, for maximum flexibility and support.

“The breadth and depth of the DTC Consultant Network allows us to service all manner of wineries across the U.S.,” said Hess. “Our members have experience working with wineries of all shapes and sizes and use that knowledge to deliver best-in-class solutions tailored to the unique needs of each client.”

DTC Consultant Network Members are based across the US and serve clients throughout all geographies, including California, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, New York State and Texas.

About DTC Wine Workshops

DTC Wine Workshops (DTCWW) is based out of the San Francisco Bay Area and works with wineries large and small across the US to grow direct to consumer wine business, build brand awareness and retain loyal customers. DTCWW uses proven methodologies and has strategic partnerships with select wine technology partners to assist with set up of a new direct to consumer sales division or to augment winery teams on a project-by-project basis.
Website: www.dtcwineworkshops.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dtcwineworkshops
Twitter: @dtcwineworkshop


Wine Concepts Announces Epiphany Analytics Intelligence Tools

Wine Industry Insights Wine Press - Lewis Purdue

Wine Industry Insights Wine Press - Lewis Purdue

Epiphany Market Intelligence System Now Available For Wine

Submitted By: Lewis Perdue, August 06, 2014

August 7, 2014 Contact: Mark Chandler
For Immediate Release 209.481.0848

(Lodi, CA) – Nick Karavidas of Wine Concepts International is announcing the long-anticipated release of the Epiphany Analytics Market Intelligence platform, now configured for use in the wine industry. Epiphany is already well-known by many Fortune 500 companies for its ability to report critical information in real time, and now wineries will be able to benefit from all that Epiphany has to offer: a market intelligence system (MIS) platform specific to the wine industry. 

Wine Concepts use of the Epiphany platform will provide wineries unparalleled support to locate consumers who like their branding and style of wine, then pinpoints where they live, shop and dine. According to Karavidas “this platform will fundamentally change the paradigm of fine wine marketing. It will help build sales quickly, reduce marketing costs and make travel time in-market substantially more efficient.”

Components of the wine MIS include demographic and consumer segmentation analysis; geographic mapping support services; market sizing analysis; and cloud based business intelligence services. Karavidas has first hand experience with the platform, taking the OZV Zinfandel brand over the last 24 months to the #7 US Zinfandel overall, #1 Zinfandel between $10-$14/bottle and #1 selling Zinfandel Brand by Point of Distribution in the US (Nielsen Scan Data). 

To date, market intelligence systems have only been used by larger producers who could afford the technology and data analysis. To make this tool more affordable Karavidas teamed up with Carl Schroeder of GeoStrategies, Inc., a well established market research firm whose client list includes Microsoft, UGG Australia, Sun Capital, and LSG Skychefs. 

Schroeder offers “I am a big wine enthusiast and want to help the industry expand by employing the powerful Go-To-Market strategy tools that have been used in most other consumer product and service industries for years. We have priced the services so they are affordable for wineries of any size.” 

The Wine Concepts team is rounded out by industry veteran Mark Chandler as exclusive marketing agent. “I can attest to how robust the GeoStrategies MIS platform is, and am eager to help brands grow using this technology.” For more information and to schedule a demonstration please contact Chandler at 209.481.0848, or email him at mark.chandler@wineconceptsintl.com.
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