Why Legacy Matters
Recognizing and honoring balance between family and business is not new to Galliard and the Family Business Advisor network. Undeniably, the vision of a family bound together by its values and traditions, and thriving in tandem with a growing business is appealing. Preserving family as the business grows and changes, however, goes beyond warmth and gets right to the heart of success. To learn more we caught up with Family Business Advisor, Michael O’Neal, to understand why legacy matters.
We asked O’Neal why legacy is such an important issue, particularly in relation to business transition. He responded:
The significance of legacy for the family business resides in the disturbing statistics for family enterprise longevity. We are familiar with the alarming failure rates for transition from first to second (33% success rate) and then second to third generation (17% success rate) family business. To look at legacy, then, it is important to look not just at longevity of the family business but that of the business family. Properly understood, legacy is a living concept that helps to both manifest and modify behavior. Specific to family-owned businesses, legacy is about family stories and more importantly what we learn from them that can be adopted and adapted.
Counter to the historical focus on wealth transfer, professionals are expanding their transition attention beyond mere documentation of how money is moved. In fact, O’Neal suggests that a myopic financial approach that pays attention only to financial wealth generation and preservation often leads to family members assuming that transition is about financial wealth only. Rather, family wealth is a composite of human, intellectual, social and financial capital.