For one, they can mitigate one of the greatest dangers: the third generation “curse.” This refers to how few family businesses survive beyond the third generation, let alone prosper.
An under-appreciated fact about Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate Buffett built: virtually all its family businesses boast second or third generation descendants who rival or outshine previous generations. That is rare among family businesses.
So while every family and business situation differs, Berkshire’s two dozen family companies are a good place to look for insight about multi-generational prosperity in the family business.
Studying Berkshire’s family businesses, I found that they are united by the following values. These values are important factors in their success, in the founding generation and subsequent ones.
Family business members, and their professional advisors, whether in law, accounting, or other fields, would do well to ponder these points.