Tom Deans has written an excellent book for all business owners and their advisers. The title is Every Family’s Business. With a title like that, you won’t be sure if Tom is talking about your family’s business, or your family’s business. But it won’t take long to find out.
Clearly, Tom Deans is talking about both your family and your business. If you have a family and an association with a business, whether you think of it as a family business or not, then it is time to get this book.
The book is already a best-seller, having sold more than 100,000 copies in the last couple of years. So you don’t have to worry about being an early adopter. Tom writes in an engaging style and develops the themes of the book through a story of two men who meet on a vacation flight to Barbados and then continue their conversation while there.
Tom Deans teaches that a business owner’s family is his legacy, and not his or her business. This is contrary to much current thought that encourages families to substitute the vagaries of genetic selection for management talent rather than making critical management and succession decisions based on proven talent, tested qualifications and relevant experience. One reviewer said:
Every Family’s Business is the first book to challenge the idea that family businesses must keep business and family issues separate. Tom Deans offers the compelling new perspective that it is, in fact, impossible to separate family and business.
Tom argues that instead, the best thing a family in business can do is abandon the idea of gifting a business and replace it with clarity about who will buy the business.
A family that can talk openly and honestly about when and to whom the business will be sold has positioned itself for financial and relational success.
The book’s subtitle is “12 Common Sense Questions to Protect Your Wealth.” Tom encourages the use of these questions as a basis for families to talk about their businesses and make conscious and rational decisions regarding who the best buyer of a particular business may be — and it may not be number one son or daughter! There is a short quiz on the Every Family’s Business website that may encourage you to think further about getting your copy of the book.
Tom also speaks on the themes in Every Family’s Business to groups of business owners and advisers all around Canada and the United States, so get a copy of his book and book him to speak if the topic fits.