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Building Resilience into Your Family Business

Over the last decade, a complex web of economic, social, political, and environmental crises has challenged the conventional laws of organizational physics, calling into question our relentless pursuit of operational efficiency. As a result, many leaders who spent their careers operating and investing in relative stability were caught off-guard, and many enterprises may not have survived the Great Recession or the Covid-19 pandemic without massive government support.

However, in my work on campus and in the field, I discovered a category of family businesses that are naturally more resilient — those who understand the existential need for sustained investment in organizational agility, even at the expense of efficiency and profitability. Their unique approach to managing risk provides an innovative playbook for leaders everywhere as we enter what I’m calling a new Age of Uncertainty.

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