Phoenix Rising – Leadership + Innovation in the New Economy: Lessons in Long-Term Thinking from Global Family Enterprises

1st Edition

Florence C. Tsai

Productivity Press
Published May 6, 2019
Reference - 182 Pages - 10 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138346680 - CAT# K394813

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Summary

How can tech-forward companies, institutions and non-profits stay relevant long term in today’s fast changing global economy? Written for leaders seeking proven strategies, this book by a veteran business advisor and leadership coach explains what large organizations can learn from family enterprises, and vice versa. When survival is threatened by disruption, or growth has stalled, the book shows why seasoned leaders and rising leaders from both family and non-family organizations should join forces for mutual benefit of combining innovation and long term thinking.

Florence Tsai advances the field of family business studies with new evolutionary models, organizational frameworks, and case studies of dozens of leading family companies, including IBM, Corning, and New York Times. The book addresses growing problems of disruption—challenges best addressed by seasoned and rising leaders working together, since they have complimentary skills. Seniors bring stability and judgment, while rising leaders understand new markets and introduces innovative ideas. The world’s best family enterprises are masters of survival; what they can learn from non-family companies is how to stay nimble when change is accelerating at rates never seen before.

Non-family organizations facing trust gaps can learn from successful family enterprises’ laser focus on stakeholder engagement. Families like Levi Strauss or Hermès have built trusted brands for generations. Facing disruption, Tsai explains how non-family organizations can insert long term thinking into the DNA of your organization by observing how enterprising families with enduring competitive advantages accomplish it. Strategies include how to develop future-forward mindsets supportive of innovation culture; how to nurture rising leaders who are intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs, and portfolio builders and prepare them to lead in their thirties.

Phoenixes rising are the next-generation leaders who lead their family enterprise through intentional transformation in response to inevitable changes and yield successful growth. The book describes this mechanism in detail. Legendary Phoenixes profiled in this book include Irénée du Pont in the U.S., whose tech innovation at Eleutherian Mills transformed the gun powder industry; David René de Rothschild in France, who rebuilt a banking business from scratch; and John Elkann of Fiat in Italy, who led the Agnelli family through a succession crisis to emerge stronger. Stories of successful next generation innovators include John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in the U.S., Cristina Stenbeck of AB Kinnevik in Sweden; and Mikkel Vestergaard, inventor of LifeStraw, in Switzerland.

With insights drawn from more than a decade of working closely with leading business families and advising the Chairmen and CEOs of their companies, the author argues that if we want to be guided by their long term success, it’s the pioneer spirit of the family leaders, plus the enterprising culture of the families themselves, not so much their products or their famous companies, that we should pay attention to.

Written for the hackers and for the master architects, Phoenix Rising spotlights principled wealth creation and the shared value that comes from doing good while doing good business, engaging partners and stakeholders sustainably, for the lasting benefit of oneself and society.

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