Family IN Business
Family IN Business
1. The Messy Business of Family and Why It’s Full of Purpose: Chris Herschend of Herschend Family Entertainment
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Season 2, Episode 1 of the Family IN Business Podcast

Herschend Family Entertainment has a trademark: “Creating Memories Worth Repeating.” As the largest family-owned themed-entertainment company in the United States, you might think running the business is all fun and games. But as Chris Herschend explains, working cooperatively and productively with family can be difficult.

Is it worth it? Absolutely. Chris, his siblings, and his cousins have been able to define a shared family purpose: to live, love, and serve together. Listen as he shares his lessons learned—and points to what we are “wired to do.” We are also joined by expert Jennifer Pendergast with thoughts on the relationship between individual freedom and shared purpose.

 

Show Notes:

Theme: Purpose in working together, even through conflicts

 

Your host:

Esther Choy, President and Chief Story Facilitator of Leadership Story Lab, author of Let the Story Do the Work (AMACOM)

 

Special thanks to:

Chris Herschend, Chairman of the Board, Herschend Family Entertainment

Jennifer Pendergast, Executive Director of John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

 

Contact us: familyenterprises@kellogg.northwestern.edu

WardCenter.net

 

Key Moments:

2:54 – Who is Chris, and what’s his business?

4:09 – Employee culture at Herschend Family Entertainment

5:20 – How does purpose manifest in family enterprise?

6:49 – The family’s purpose vs. the enterprise’s purpose

8:07 – How storytelling seeded family conflict within the business

12:16 – How outside perspective helps the Herschend family solve conflicts

14:19 – How three meetings changed the course of the family enterprise

19:02 – Using “Plexiglass,” a poker face, and “the next right thing” in family enterprise

22:27 – What “together” means in the Herschend family’s purpose

25:35 – How individual freedom impacts shared purpose, with Jennifer Pendergast

28:40 – What individual freedom looks like in family enterprise

31:39 – Why Chris believes family enterprise is the best training for life and a great capital structure

34:55 – Chris’s personal purpose

Download “The Messy Business of Family and Why It’s Full of Purpose: Chris Herschend of Herschend Family Entertainment” Transcript-Chris-Herschend-Final.pdf – Downloaded 10 times – 230 KB

 

Next Episode: 2. Creating a Thoughtful Legacy for Family Business: Meghan Juday of IDEAL INDUSTRIES

Better Every Story

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People forget facts, but they never forget a good story. In her book, Esther Choy shares business storytelling methods, examples and practical tools and templates. It’s your essential leadership storytelling toolkit.

Let the story do the work

People forget facts, but they never forget a good story. In her book, Esther Choy shares business storytelling methods, examples and practical tools and templates. It’s your essential leadership storytelling toolkit.

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