I recently met Anthony Woodhouse, the managing director of Hall & Woodhouse, a UK-based family brewery and pub operator established in 1777. Anthony had agreed to speak at an Institute of Directors event I was hosting titled An Evening with Entrepreneurs. When we met, he said he didn’t view himself as an entrepreneur but as a custodian. His great-great-great-great-grandfather, the founder of the company, was a man of vision who risked all to achieve greatness. Now Anthony feels his task is to hand on the company, in better condition than he found it, to the next generation of stakeholders. He views himself as a steward of the business, seeking to find the right balance between improving and preserving the business for future generations of shareholders. In my view, he is an entrepreneur, and I’m glad to say I’ve convinced him of that fact, and also that all chief executives are simultaneously stewards and change agents — seeking the right balance between preservation via risk management and improvement via entrepreneurship and innovation.
KeywordsYoung Generation Family Business Social Entrepreneurship Creative Idea Strategic Intent
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