ENDORSEMENTS

Business owners, professional advisors for privately held and family businesses, and educators share their thoughts on the concepts explained in THE BALANCE POINT.

This book is a “must read” for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs. It is a practical and easy to read book with wonderful examples of how family business owners work through transitions. Three fundamental points are addressed – the role of family business owners, board members and senior management and how to reach a balance point between them. This book deals with challenges together with alternatives to overcome it. Congratulations Larry and Cary – This book is now part of my “Dantotsu Collection” (Best of the Best).

“This book saved me 20 years of research and experience.” As an Organizational/Business coach based in Australia, I was excited by every page and chapter of Larry and Cary’s book. Working with SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprises) which by definition have Entrepreneurs as the driving force; I was finding the challenge of having Entrepreneurs engage with any Governance process such as a board of directors most frustrating and often impossible to implement. Since reading the book and understanding The Balance Point as a concept, I now find myself working WITH the entrepreneur rather than going against the grain. Congratulations Larry and Cary I am sure you are the vanguard of a new way to work with Family style business!! Tapping into your experience will make me a more effective business coach immediately.

Their ideas are a real paradigm shift. People are used to the idea of boards that give advice to company management. This book will help owners understand the role of true directors, who balance the needs of the owners with the needs of the business.

THE BALANCE POINT offers practical guidance on a much deeper level than other books intended to help businesses in transition. This book explains what owners, managers, and directors need to learn to navigate transitional issues successfully.

Brilliant! Using the owner, board, management model with my business clients has met with resounding success. The authors have created a unique and in-depth relationship of accountability that points the way to smoother and more sustainable transition planning. Using this model, the family business can navigate the transition waters with a clear and exciting long-term plan.

The alternative board structures provide owners with practical information to help them put together and train a board that works for their unique situation rather than solely on a “one size fits all approach.”

As a former practicing business and estate planning attorney, and current family wealth planning professional, I have helped closely held and family business owners work through transitions for most of my career. It is important to understand, that despite the best efforts of talented professionals, statistically 2/3 of all family business transitions fail. Why is that? In my experience, it is because much of the decision making processes for these businesses occurs within the entrepreneur’s mind, and there is a lack of structure and process for decision making when ownership is transitioned to multiple people or ownership and management are transitioned to different people. Add in some challenging family dynamics, and you have a recipe for disaster. What the authors have developed is a framework and process for decision making that entrepreneurs can understand and feel comfortable implementing, while at the same time, enabling family members and managers to understand their roles and responsibilities and operate together productively. The concepts presented are forward thinking and years ahead of their time. This book has literally challenged me to re-examine and refine every aspect of my professional practice. Highly recommended!

As you know, I have used your Balance System for the past several years. You may recall that I am a trustee of a trust that owns a business with about $60 million in revenue. I am also on the board of that company. As the technical “owner” of the business, I needed to make sure that there was a proper balance between the interests of the beneficiaries of the trust as the “true owners”, the trustee representing the income and remainder beneficiaries, the Board and Management. Read the Full Testimonial

I wanted to let you know that I have been reading your book. I am enjoying your material, experience and your thoughts on working with family business owners. Thank you for taking the time to write a great book!

Based on our recent meeting, and your presentation at the MSBA, I purchased your book and read it. I have found it very helpful in my work as a family director and attorney in advising closely held businesses. In fact, I think it is one of the most practical and helpful resources I’ve seen on the topic.

I read THE BALANCE POINT and found it helpful in understanding my role as an advisor on family farm boards. I marked your comments on the “Board of One” on page 30. This was useful to me in working with farm clients. The “Board of One” concept seems to apply quite often in my engagements with farm clients in helping them to understand their future role with the farm. Being the “balance point” keeps them involved and makes them feel more accepting to the transition process.

What a great book! For a closely held business, it really explains how to create a system that creates long term value. You can get lots of information from lots of other sources, but very few are as relevant to a family business. Especially, one that is thinking about growth and transition. Great job!

THE BALANCE POINT is as much a “How to” on small business growth, control, and succession as it is about Boards of Directors. Boards of public companies are a model that simply won’t work for a closely-held or family business, which is what almost all growth-based entrepreneurial firms are. If I were still teaching Entrepreneurship in graduate school, as I did for ten years, this would be required reading.

This book should be a terrific guide for all business owners.

This book should be a must read for owners and managers of any closely held company who want to minimize the significant risks associated with transitions among owners, managers, and family. A long-time client of mine has implemented many of the concepts presented by Cary and Larry. It is not an exaggeration to state that their approach has been life changing for the owners and nonfamily management of this highly successful manufacturing firm over the last five years. Among other things, the founder/owner/president/CEO/board chair evolved from [relying on] a strong board of advisors to an even stronger board of directors, hired a non-owner president, and is genuinely and comfortably pulling away from the business and recognizing the board as a true balance point between the business and the owners.

I learned that when I separate the roles of owners, board members, and management, I open up the possibility for my children… to continue to own this company.

THE BALANCE POINT provides a fresh and thought-provoking perspective on the role of boards in private businesses. The enterprising angle from which the authors approach the subject creates exciting alternatives for business owners who have sometimes discounted the importance of process and governance. The book provides keen insights into the unique challenges business owners face; more importantly, it presents numerous examples of pragmatic solutions.

The clarity in describing the problems and solutions is a welcome relief and will be a great help to readers. THE BALANCE POINT doesn’t shy away from the difficult issues, but offers pragmatic ways to solve them.

In an economy full of chaos and uncertainty, The Balance Point by Cary Tutelman and Larry Hause offers structure and insight to assist family businesses as they navigate through this transition by providing a step-by-step process for developing a healthy, high performing governance system. Clearly defined governance processes and structures can infuse confidence and wisdom into any family business system. The Balance Point, itself, provides the structure and guidance that owners and their advisors need. Read the Full Endorsement

Your notion of the balance point has resonances with one of the dimensions of CEBC’s model of ethical culture which we call stakeholder balance. If I correctly understand your concept, you are looking in depth at the balance between two stakeholder groups, owners/investors and managers. I very much appreciate your focus on clarifying roles and responsibilities.

The Balance Point concept changes paradigms by recognizing the obstacles for family business that are as predictable as they are permanent. It defines a system that can fairly and genuinely accommodate the challenge.

I am halfway through THE BALANCE POINT and it is one of those rare texts that is a guide to real, practical action. Well done.

Thank you again for writing ‘The Balance Point’. It’s an excellent resource for any family enterprise that is serious about governance as well as their advisors.

This is an excellent book for the owners (and managers) of a privately held business. The book is filled with practical ideas that can help solve real world problems that are common in a privately held company.

The Balance Point is an extraordinary resource for business owners and their advisors looking for frameworks and processes to navigate the complexity that a business brings.  Cary and Larry have generously translated their decades of experience into highly practical, well thought out models.  Within days of reading this book, I leveraged their model of seven alternative board structures, and related probing questions, to help a founder better understand the landscape and widen his lens on what was possible.

Author Bios

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LARRY D. HAUSE

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Larry D. Hause, J.D., is founder and principal of Hause Family Business Transitions, LP and Senior of Counsel with the leading firm of Fredrikson & Byron. He grew up in a family business, and as an attorney and consultant, he has worked with privately held and family businesses since 1984. He guides entrepreneurs and other owners, as well as directors and managers, through the myriad challenges they face when their businesses are in transition.

CARY J. TUTELMAN

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Cary J. Tutelman, Ph.D., is a business consultant and owner of CJT Company. Cary helps privately held and family businesses grow and move through the complicated web of ownership, management, board, and family issues that transition brings. He has been actively helping businesses since 1981.