Family Business Stories Build a Legacy For the Next Generation

Family Business Stories Build a Legacy For the Next Generation
Category: Interviews
Published: June 19, 2024
Updated: June 19, 2024
Views: 556
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A great story, skillfully told, can shape attitudes and spur commitment and action. This is especially true at family businesses, where the stories and values of the family and business intertwine.  Memoirs, websites, videos and blogs can capture a family business's saga, with all its challenges and triumphs; shape a powerful image for customers and the community; and create a blueprint for future leaders of the firm. Editor Kimberly Eddleston recently spoke with Dave Goetz and Melissa Parks, the co-founders of Journey Sixty6, a consultancy that has helped many family firms document their unique sagas.  They've worked with clients to define five to seven "tentpole events" that shaped their history and forged their values.

One of their clients, a 100-year-old business, had survived through two world wars, tragic deaths, and a devastating fire. It was so beloved in the community that competitors offered to serve their customers while the business recovered from the fire, then handed them all back once the business was back on its feet. Journey Sixty6 spoke with an older member of the family, who was beginning to suffer from dementia, to capture these vivid memories before it was too late. 

As families grow and the next generation is prepared for leadership, it's especially important to document the key moments that shaped the family's values so that they have a spiritual guide for conducting business. Many times it's a key birthday or anniversary that spurs families to begin capturing their histories. But as Goetz and Parks point out here, it's never too early to start. 


Kimberly Eddleston
Kimberly Eddleston
Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship / D'Amore-McKim School of Business / Northeastern University
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Cite this Article
DOI: 10.32617/1092-6672fbde1f468
Eddleston, Kimberly. "Family Business Stories Build a Legacy For the Next Generation." 19 Jun. 2024. Web 16 Jul. 2024 <>.
Eddleston, K. (2024, June 19). Family business stories build a legacy for the next generation. Retrieved July 16, 2024, from