generational transfer


Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

The Lively Merchant Headlines in Vegas

Welcome to Las VegasCatch The Lively Merchant in Vegas this week during the first Next Generation-NOW educational session at the Las Vegas Furniture Market on Tuesday, January 25 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm in the new Retailer Resource Center, WMC-C488/496.

In this session, David Lively will teach you how to work with four generations around your conference table and on your sales floor. Differences in each generation will be explained, and you’ll get hands-on methods to use in your business to bridge the generation gaps.

Next Generation-NOW provides professional development, networking and hosted forums to give a voice to the unique needs of young furniture professionals.

Our team is in Vegas through Thursday, January 27. Give us a call if you want to meet up and talk shop.

800-549-9206 ext. 1

  • Generational Transfer Consulting: How to leave a legacy without losing your sanity
  • Online Selling Solutions: Combine our rocket-science web design with 20+ years of award-winning retail ownership for online marketing and selling strategies that will help you make money on the web and in your store

Ante 4 Autism Poker TournamentDon’t forget the Third Annual Ante 4 Autism Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament at Binion’s (Downtown Las Vegas) on Tuesday, January 25, at 7:00 pm. Click here to register or donate online. All donations and $50 from each registration will go to support Autism Speaks, whose mission is to increase awareness about the growing Autism epidemic and raise funds for research, family services and advocacy in local communities and nationwide.

What happens in Vegas, stays in your head and makes life better when you get home.

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Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Where Troubles Melt Like Lemon Drops…

I’m working through a series of questions about purpose. The first one is: “Why do we feel an organization should aspire to make the world a better place?”

Making the world a better place seems to be more important now than ever before among all generations.

To me, the glam and glitter of bright lights and fast paced living have lost their shine.

The new Civic Generation will fully take control of culture during 2009. This doesn’t mean Silent, Boomers, and X’ers need not show up for work after the New Year. Just the opposite is the case. The still-young Millennials need your leadership.

A Civic Generation is shaped when a “crisis arises in response to sudden threats that previously would have been ignored or deferred, but which are now perceived as dire. Great worldly perils boil off the clutter and complexity of life, leaving behind one simple imperative: The society must prevail. This requires a solid public consensus, aggressive institutions, and personal sacrifice.” (The Fourth Turning
by William Straus and Neil Howe)

Doesn’t this sound like the economic meltdown of 2008? And 1929? And 1869? Do you see a pattern here?

Soon the mood will transform into one of exhaustion, relief and optimism. This optimism is brought about by faith in the group and in authorities. The leaders plan, people hope, and a society yearns for good things and simpler times.

Can you imagine somewhere over the rainbow?

Consumers, congregations, sport teams and of course companies can, and they will all be looking to partner with organizations of purpose. Make sense?

Are you getting yours ready?

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Purpose serves as a principle around which to organize our lives.

Have you ever thought about the questions leaders need to ask in order to instill purpose within their companies?

This has really been top-of-mind for me lately, because so much is riding on the decisions leaders are making today.

It seems as if the margin of error has completely evaporated in the last six months.

I believe the generational transfer from Boomer to X is nearly complete. X’ers will only be a speed bump in time until the Millennials takeover.

Why do we feel an organization should aspire to make the world a better place?

What is the implied value of organizations of greater purpose?

How do we choose to live, interact, and behave as an organization in order to achieve this higher purpose?

How will we know when we are on the right track?

What does it look like (or feel like) when we achieve our organizational greater purpose?

These are hard questions!

I will try over the next several days the answer each of them in detail.

It will be great if you’ll help me clarify the answers by providing some feedback.

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Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Four Freedoms

On January 6, 1941 President Roosevelt forever changed to direction of the nation.

He single handedly added freedoms beyond the American Constitution. It was never implied Americans should expect freedom from “want and fear.”

While these are wonderful ideals, as “rights” they are ridiculous.

It is written, “‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

This ancient instruction was given as individual responsibility for one man to care for another.

Clearly, freedom from want and fear was not talked about here.

In 1943 Walter Russell’s monument “Four Freedoms” was dedicated in Madison Square Garden. Four times this same year The Saturday Evening Post ran covers depicting theses freedoms.

Norman Rockwell gave us a vision of the America that could be.

I wonder if he truly believed these freedoms to be rights?

Later in 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt repeated these rights to the United Nations in General Assembly Resolution 217A.

Four Freedoms have gone on to take on a life of their own. Marvel Comics even created a superhero team called the Fantastic Four. Their headquarters? You guessed it, Four Freedoms building.

So, what does this have to do with retail? Everything!

Discovery of your untold story is foundational to speaking life into your business.

When you have tickled the brain of your customer, when you have provided them with a struggle they can share with others, when your words allow their shared hopes and dreams for the future to appear possible, and when you have won their hearts, you can count on their mind to follow.

Customers always buy with emotion and then justify with intellect.

Can you hear retail freedom in your future? Would you like to talk more about this?

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Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Can You Imagine?

An entire generation of Americans is growing up with no newspapers and very few catalogs. They might not even know what a phone book looks like.

Scary stuff for an old retail fart like me!

This group is more concerned about value than privacy. They’ve never believed they had privacy, anyway. How to pay for something is often more important than how much something sells for. Possibly, this is a holdover view shared with their over-extended parents.

They live lives online and offline. Spending 6-plus hours a day in the cyber world is not uncommon. SecondLife, MySpace, YouTube and avatars are common place.

Other generations remember new fangled inventions like TV, microwave ovens and ATM machines. This generation has never lived without internet. Their worldview is different.

You’ll only keep their attention for nanoseconds. They are capable of doing three things at once. They prioritize time and money differently than previous groups of consumers. They even think buying software is old fashioned. (Can you believe it?)

Do you want to be in business in twenty years? You’d better see the world through their eyes.

These “digital natives” have laptops, cell phones, IPods, Black-berry, DS, digital cameras, DVD burners. They are connected, and they are on the prowl for more.

They are working in nearly every retail setting already. If you want to keep up you ought to be hiring more of them at every turn.

I’m not suggesting picking them while alienating older consumer groups which have a lot more spending money. I am suggesting, however, that technology today allows us to talk to different consumers in their language. But you must know their language in order to speak it. The BS meters of this group are well tuned and waiting to pounce

Now don’t go running out half-cocked thinking you’re going to dominate this group. Don’t, however, wait with your head in the sand for them to choose you when they have the money, because by then it will be too late. They will already have chosen your competition.

Are you spending your advertising money and recruiting people the way you did five years ago? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then please change. If not, don’t say you haven’t been warned.

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Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

What A Shame.

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” Thomas Jefferson

After listening to President Bush and then a dozen channels of political pundits and Wall Street hacks I went searching for some sage generational advice. It seems Thomas Jefferson was clearly foreseeing the problems of today!


Which generation do you think he might have been talking to? I have an opinion. Email me if you would like to know. The answer will be two short words.

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Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Generational Training

Greed-is-good Yuppies and Bible-believing conservatives each handle training the same way.

This morning I was thinking about personality type as it relates to training. Of course, wondering always leads me to generational questions.

Remember we are living and working in an unprecedented four generational time. Never in earth’s history have four generations worked together – before right now!

Feedback from training might sound like this:

  • WWII Generation says, “I learned it the hard way, and you should, too.”
  • Baby Boomers say, “If you train people too much, they’ll leave.”
  • Generation X says, “The more they learn, the longer they’ll stay.”
  • Millennials say, “Always be learning, it’s a way of life.

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Monday, July 28th, 2008

Business Unusual:

This evening seems simply surreal. I’m in Las Vegas preparing to speak to a number of independent furniture store owners at World Market Center.

Generational transfer is the topic of the presentation. While reviewing notes it was striking to re-read the results of the watershed Raymond Institute report on family business planning.

Here are three percentages on the same subject that show a real lack of understanding; 19% of family business participants have not completed any estate planning other than writing a will; only 37% have written a strategic plan; and over 60% are very positive about their company’s future.

These small percentages combined with the pie-in-the-sky “very positive” outlook seem fitting for Sin City. The gamble these business leaders are taking is mind boggling. It’s about as funny as Wayne Brady in “Making It Up.” You’ve got to be %@#* me!

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Monday, July 21st, 2008

Rite of Passage

For the first half of our life, passages are fairly easily marked. We go to school, get a job, find a mate, raise a family and contribute to our community.

But a strange thing happens on the way to the finish line. The built in “life detector” begins to ask why are we here, and what is this all for. Questions begin to form. We wonder about retirement-from what, to what? How will we cope with maintaining health in an aging body? We question our ability to mentor younger people, begin to experience the loss of loved ones, and face the eventual certainty of our own mortality.

Big questions, huh?

Passageways, not aging, are on my mind.

Retailers are presented with rites of passage daily. How do I get the sales staff to move? How do I get more cash in the bank account? How do I get rid of excess inventory? These are all questions that require movement from where you are to where you want to be (or at least a step in the right direction).

Your rites of passage will take you over thresholds and through gates. A threshold is something we cross, a place we tread, turn, twist, and flail. Thresholds often mentally move us to the brink of something. A gate, on the other hand, is a passageway into sacred ground, or holy land, or a place of protection, testing, and/or spiritual depth.

Fear neither. Go through both. Move From Success to Significance.

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Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Welcome to the ride of your life!

This spring, The Lively Merchant decided to move from a behind the scenes consulting company to a full service managment company. We bring our considerable and successful retail background to bear on each client situation.

The Lively Merchant is run by the husband and wife team of David and Amy Lively.

For the first time in the history of the earth, businesses will be affected by four different generations at the same time, each with different expectations and needs. David’s upcoming book, Generational Transfer-Legacy 1.0, is the first book to deal exclusively with the serious challenges coming from the onslaught of inter-generational transfer of family business in the United States. It will be released during the 4th Quarter of 2009.

Stay tuned and welcome to the ride of your life.

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