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Meet Paul Karofsky of Transition Consulting Group

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Karofsky.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After 20 plus years as a third generation member of my family’s wholesale wallcovering business – mostly as CEO, I opted for a change. The industry peaked and it was the right time for a sale. I returned to graduate school focused on inter-generational relationships and graduated with an opportunity to follow a deep passion for education in a newly emerging field: education focused on family owned businesses. Northeastern University was exploring the launch of a Center for Family Business and I was asked to consult to the launch, and then asked to run the Center and I did so for 14 years.

During that time, I was asked to speak, write and consult to business owning families and started Transition Consulting Group as an adjunct to my work running the Center. A few years after retiring from the Center, my son joined me in our consulting work and we’ve had the pleasure of working together for 8 years.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has been smooth. The Center grew beyond expectations and I enjoyed a steady progression of client work coupled with a world-wide speaking tour for the Young Presidents’ Organization, monthly columns in BusinessWeek online and Nation’s Business Magazine and helping other family business education programs to launch and prosper.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Transition Consulting Group – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Transition Consulting Group’s goal is to help family members in business together enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with one another. Much of our work is facilitating transition from one generation to the next. We help family members set criteria for entry, guidelines for roles and responsibilities, a process for decision making, structures for family gatherings, and governance. Perhaps the most important skill we try to impart is effective communication, the absence of which typically lies at the heart of most family business conflict.

My son, David, and I published a book in the fall of 2016, So You’re in the Family Business: A Guide to Sustainability. It’s a primer and more for anyone involved with a family business and available on Amazon and others.

Having lived it, I understand the challenges and opportunities that family members face and can empathize with those in both the senior and younger generations.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In the future, I plan to be selective on the client engagements I choose. I want to work with those families totally committed to taking the steps necessary to achieve sustainability.

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