Succession: a personal story

Taking over a family business brings with it many responsibilities. That shift in decision-making and autonomy can affect the dynamics of the company and the family. But some families have transitioned successfully.

So, what made the difference for a successful transition? How difficult is it to balance personal ambitions and family legacy? And how is NextGen driving their new ideas into action? 

Show notes

Josie Morris, Managing Director at Woolcool, an award-winning business that now supplies products to some of the most recognized brands around the globe, answers all the questions. 

Josie is the 2nd generation of Woolcool, and today, she talks about her journey and challenges in joining the family business. Josie also shares how her family has managed the transition while maintaining strong personal relationships throughout the process.

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Transcript

Josie Morris: The major thing I did learn about it was being respectful of decisions that they made originally. I think I learned quite quickly, I can't remember what it was about, but we were having a conversation about something and I'd said something like, "Oh, I don't think we should do that anymore," quite flippantly. I could feel the mood change slightly. I realized that Angie and Keith had made that decision at the time. It was a decision, but to them, that must have seemed like I was attacking the fact that they made the decision and it was the wrong decision, but that wasn't what I was saying. We're just saying we've moved on now. We're a bit bigger, we should do this instead.

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Natalie Wright: You are listening to the Exploring Family Business podcast, brought to you by Mazars. I'm your host, Natalie Wright, head of family business at Mazars UK. Having worked extensively with family businesses for a number of years, I'm keen to support this valuable sector of our society. At Mazars, we believe there is nothing more personal than a family business. Every family and every business is unique. We look forward to sharing knowledge, insights, and practical tips for those navigating the unique issues that arise from being in business with family.

Now, on with this week's show.

[music]

Hello everyone. Welcome back to the Exploring Family Business podcast with Mazars. Taking over the family business, whether that's the ownership, the management, or both brings with it many responsibilities that shift in decision making and autonomy, which can affect the dynamics of the business and the family. For the families who have transitioned successfully, we're really interested to know what made the difference, how difficult is it to balance personal ambitions whilst respecting and protecting a legacy and how are the NextGen driving their new ideas into action?

Back in 2002, Angela Morris, the founder of The Wool Packaging Company came up with an innovative idea. An idea that saw the creation of the first Woolcool product. By 2008, she had built a business around this idea. Roll forward to February 2014 and Angela's youngest daughter, Josie joined the business as sales and marketing manager and quickly progressed to managing director in 2016. The business puts social and environmental responsibility at the core of what it does. In 2020, it demonstrated that its actions match its values by becoming a registered B Corp, joining 700 businesses in the UK, many of which are family-owned.

In this episode of the Exploring Family Business podcast, we're delighted to be joined by Josie Morris, MBA, the managing director and second generation of Woolcool, an award-winning business that now supplies products to some of the most recognized brands around the globe. Josie and I will be talking through her own personal journey of succession, how she made the decision to join the family firm, and her challenges as she balanced and no doubt, continues to balance personal and professional decision making. Most importantly, how her family has managed that transition, whilst maintaining strong personal relationships throughout the process.

Josie, thank you for joining us today.

Josie Morris: Hello. Thank you for having me. I'm very excited about this conversation.

Natalie Wright: Brilliant. Looking forward to going through everything and hearing about your journey. I did give a very brief history of the business there and the road to where you are today. I'm sure in some ways it's gone in the blink of an eye, but there's a possibility it always feels like you've been at Woolcool and I will include a link to the company's website in there to show that journey of progression that you've had over the last 20 years. Today, I'd really like to focus on your journey specifically, because we'd like to get a better understanding of the experience and transition from now gen to NextGen.

Could we start first of all, by talking about your life before joining the family business?

Josie Morris: Yes. That seems so long ago now. Definitely. I obviously went to school. Actually, where we are based now is near where I went to school. Then I took a year off before I went to university as sometimes, I didn't really feel ready for university, I think at that point. Then through university, I got a job because I'm a keen sports player. I don't play as much as I want to now, as I've got older and got grown-up. I've actually grown up and I've got a real job, but I played a lot of sports at uni. Luckily through that, I actually ended up getting a job coming out of university, which is a great position to be in.

My life before Woolcool call was probably just deciding what I wanted from life, really. I guess, I never really knew what I wanted to do when I was younger. Funny enough, I always thought my mom built up such a good business in her packaging consultancy because that's what she was doing previously to Woolcool, which is where the idea came from. I always felt it'd be a shame if all that hard work went to waste, but obviously, as a consultancy, she's got the expertise and that's a service.

What was great about when she'd created Woolcool, was I could see myself being involved, but I definitely wasn't ready when I came out of university. I wanted to make sure that I was doing it for me and not for her. That was the thing. I went off on my own merry way and went into sportswear, which is completely different from packaging, but it has some similarities like anything. That was actually a family business I was in before I moved to Woolcool.

To look back, you were saying about time flying, the last two years have been for everyone. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think 2020 or 2021 actually happened. I'm still in 2019 in my head. I don't know about you.

Natalie Wright: I think we can all agree with that, to be honest. It's really interesting what you said there about that you made that decision as well, that you didn't feel ready because I think we often hear and I'm interested to get your take on this, that quite often there's a pressure or an expectation to join the family business. I'm interested first of all, to know if you felt there was that expectation in any way. Also, then you following your passion for sport, what brought you back to the family business?

Josie Morris: I think the difficulty is knowing exactly what you're saying really, is knowing why you're joining the business. Actually, I was really lucky because a friend of mine said to me, actually, when I was making the decision between staying at the sportswear company I was working at and progressing there, I had a job offer on the table or moving across the family business, which was a bit of a step back actually, from the role I've been offered to move into the family business. Someone said to me, "Are you doing it for yourself, or are you doing it for your mom?" It took me probably a couple of weeks to come to the conclusion of why am I doing it? Actually, it was a really good question because it actually made me think, "Am I doing this for the right reasons? Am I doing it because I feel I have to or do I want to?

My mom even said to me, "I don't want you to come in just because of me," which was nice. She didn't put pressure on her. I actually asked her partner, Keith, to interview me to make sure I was right for the role. My biggest fear was that I'd come into the business and I wouldn't have the skillset to take the business forward to where it needed to be. I was worried it was going to flop. I just wanted to make sure it was right. Do you know what I mean? It's not good for either party. If it's not right for my mom, it's not going to be right for me and vice versa.

That was how I made that decision. I can't tell you what made me go one way or the other, but I would say that the thing that attracted me away from sports into this business was the opportunities I had to do my own thing. I like to test myself, so to almost see what skills I had and if it failed it failed, but to see what I can do as a person, and what can I achieve. It's a funny one because sport is my passion, but I guess in some ways, I don't really want to be doing a job in my passion cause it's my hobby also.

Natalie Wright: What skillsets do you think that you were able to gain than from going elsewhere, being outside the family business and I guess almost having a different perspective to be able to take that into the family business that you might not have otherwise had?

Josie Morris: I think the skills that I could gain elsewhere that probably set me up for the family business really, was probably seeing something outside the family business. I think quite often in the family business, the business becomes like a sibling to the family and then it ends up being something that the people in the family don't really get outside of. For some people, that's the right path to go straight into the family business.

This is the path for me, but I'm not saying it's the right or wrong path. I think I wanted to go and test myself outside and away from people that knew me already. I think also the business I was in interestingly, was a family business itself and it was one that as it grew, it actually got bought out. I saw the progression from a small business to a medium business, to a business that then got acquired. I think that gave me a lot of insight into the progression of a business. I learned a lot from the managing director in that business and the people I worked with, about what to do and what not to do, if that makes sense. I think you can learn a lot before you then go and try that in your own business.

Natalie Wright: Sounds like a really valuable way as well to experience that without you having the personal connection that you do, obviously, in your own family business as well. It's different decision-making, I imagine?

Josie Morris: Yes. I think it probably teaches you. Particularly that business, I think it taught me what I enjoy doing. Also, I think for me and again, it's not the same for everyone. This is my experience. I think if I'd gone straight into the family business, I'd be thinking, "What else is there out there?" Then actually, I can't say if I had come into the Woolcool straight away, I think, I still would've loved it. Right or wrong decision, it felt like at the time to go and try me elsewhere. Also, I was living a bit further away from the business and there was part of me that thought moving back to the area was a bit of failure because I always said, "Oh, move away from the area." My friends went to London or elsewhere.

Then when I moved back I was like, "I love the area." I actually took for granted when I lived here, the things that I can do in the area now that I didn't think about when I was younger.

Natalie Wright: It sounds like you did that from a really informed decision point as well, from a personal perspective and a business perspective, which is really great to hear. If we were thinking about challenges and barriers when you joined the family business, did you ever have that feeling coming into the business that you were being viewed as the boss's daughter? Did you feel any personal challenges from that perspective?

Josie Morris: I think probably most of the pressure was on myself. Again, there are certain elements to a family business that are true throughout all family businesses, but I think where we were at as we were starting as a business was actually that we were small enough for the people within the business to know each other. At that point, when I joined we had four or five team members. I was joining quite a small team, and we got to know each other. I think sometimes where you've got a bigger family business, say, for example, my nephew joined now, he's a bit young now, so I'm not advocating having a child in the business yet, but I think if he was to join now, he would have more struggle convincing everyone here he isn't just joining because he is the nephew.

I think I was quite lucky in the sense that those four or five people I was working with saw me for me and not for being the daughter. There might be some people who thought that, but I didn't get that impression or I ignored it, one of the two. The people working originally were really supportive and really welcoming. I have to say there's particularly a couple of people who showed much respect and I was younger and I probably was a bit of an upstart and probably had loads of crazy ideas, but they respected and they were very welcoming and nurturing that, which I was really lucky to have around me.

Natalie Wright: That's great here and actually, probably ties back to the culture that was built in the business as well, that supportive of each other. I understand that you've got siblings, some of which are in the business, some not. Your sister Jessica, she's the finance director. Am I right in saying that?

Josie Morris: Yes, indeed.

Natalie Wright: Obviously, very different roles that you've got to managing director and a finance director. Was that a natural progression into those roles? Did you ever have any conflict about doing different roles between you? How did that work?

Josie Morris: We didn't have any conflict. The only conflict we ever have is that she jokes she has no media clothes, so she stays out of that, stays out of the photos, and stuff like that. It's just the difference in personalities, she's probably more spreadsheets, she's more figures, which is lucky because naturally, that isn't my favorite thing. I prefer to be chatting as she can probably hear. I prefer to be out and about. Jess, don't get me wrong, she is actually a great presenter, but she chooses more of that financial role and for me naturally, I'm more of the sales and marketing side of things.

I always say, being almost the managing director, figurehead, you have a certain image, but I would say Jess to take most of the credit for how the company's gone because I don't think we'd be where we were without her in it and I think that's a testimony. I think we balance each other out, but she keeps us level.

Natalie Wright: A joint effort, it sounds like there?

Josie Morris: Yes, maybe.

Natalie Wright: What about other siblings then? Because it must be difficult sometimes when you all get together, if some of you were talking about the business, in terms of day-to-day trade inside of it, then also if you're mindful that there's a financial interest for the wider family, but not necessarily a professional one. How do you balance that together as a family?

Josie Morris: I think it's become a bit of a lesson over time, really. Again, it's very different in each family depending on what your setup is. Over the time, my other sisters have shown interest, but not really shown that they necessarily wanted to come into the business. They've both got very good careers of their own and they also live further away from where the business is located. I think the challenge really, is making sure that you're respectful of each other when you are having conversations. Instead of sitting there with my mom and talking about the business in front of all my sisters, for example, no one really wants to sit there and listen about a business that they don't know anything about. Actually, it's just being respectful of that and perhaps being mindful. It's not unless they want to hear about it and not because they're not interested, but it's almost like that thing of when you've got a private joke going on, the people outside, they're really not involved in it. I think over time we've got to a happy medium, where you were all in positions within our life now, that we're happy with and understand the dynamics that we all have.

It's always been pretty positive, but obviously, along the way you forge that as the business grows. As I say now, they're doing really well in their own respective careers. I think they seem really happy.

Natalie Wright: Brilliant. It sounds like you've got a great balance there. It can't have been easier times, but I'm sure if you are all working in the same direction, it sounds like something you've worked hard to achieve.

Josie Morris: My dad would say that having four girls is a pretty big charge.

[laughter]

I feel sorry for him sometimes because-- in some ways he got very well looked after, but it's always obvious, four girls together, but we're all very different personalities. I think we share pretty much the same values. What's been good over time and particularly, as we've got older, is we've found our niches within our careers.

I do know of family businesses where if you've got two types of personalities that are similar, that are vying for the same position, that can be really challenging. We've been, I'd say, lucky. We've been very lucky that we haven't had that head to head. Now, whether when my nephew comes in, he'll be vying for my position, or if he came in, who knows, but he'll be kicking me out, I'm sure.

Natalie Wright: Sounds like you've got a successor planned already?

Josie Morris: He doesn't know that yet, but maybe.

Natalie Wright: If you were to cast your mind back then when you started to transition into that managing director and leadership role, was that a decision prompted by you, by your mom? Did it just naturally evolve? How did that work?

Josie Morris: I think it was a case of if I came in and did okay at the sales and marketing manager role, which it's the whole team thing. It was the plan that I would progress to be maybe a director, sales marketing director, and then, potentially if, again, I've shown the skillset. I always said I don't want the role if I'm not going to suit it. It's pointless giving someone a role if it's not within their skill set because, as I said in the beginning, it doesn't make anyone happy. It might be the family name, but actually, there's happiness in there. You live your life to do the things you want to do. If you're putting yourself in a position that you're not going to be very good at, just because of the family name, for me, it's a bit of an alien concept.

It was a bit of a natural progression, but we moved warehouse. We moved from just an office facility to have our own production facility. When we moved because at that point we were starting to get more team members, Keith, who's my partner said to me and also within the business, he said to me, "Actually, maybe now's the time to have that title because then people will start seeing you as that leader, rather than you have that transition." Because they were starting to step away a little bit and I was starting to take a bit more control, at that point.

Then Jess, obviously, started to step up to finance director too. It was almost like new gen coming in, at a point where it was a good break in the story for us to do so.

Natalie Wright: Sounds like a good pivot point and as you said, that natural progression then. That was 2016 then when you stepped into that role. Did that happen very quickly with your mom and Keith stepping back or has that been a gradual step change?

Josie Morris: Probably a mixture of both really. I think probably the step change, was they wanted me to get involved in the role quite quickly, but with their support. I would say that probably within 6-12 months, I was probably making some decisions and driving it forward along with Jess, obviously, together. We were a bit young, in the sense that we work well together to do that.

Angie and Keith were always in the background. Angie and my mum, they're always in the background to support me. I think they were mindful of not stepping on our toes. Again, going back to that look thing, very lucky that they weren't looking to hold on to every element of the business, they were quite happy, I think at that point, to trust us to get on with it. I think they saw that if they tried to push back, that could be detrimental to the business. We all agreed that it was important to support each other in it.

Just to make the point, the major thing I did learn about it was being respectful of the decisions that they made originally. I think I learned quite quickly, I can't remember what it was about, but we were having a conversation about something and I'd said something like, "Oh, I don't think we should do that anymore," quite flippantly. I could feel the mood change slightly. I realized that Angie and Keith had made that decision. At the time, it was a decision, but to them, that must have seemed like I was attacking the fact that they made the decision and it was the wrong decision, but that wasn't what I was saying. I was just saying, "We've moved on now, we're a bit bigger. We need to do this instead."

I think that was quite a turning point for me, that now I try and approach any decisions that we are changing and they've made in the past, try to approach a bit more respectfully and say, "Look, that's the right decision you made that at the right time. Hindsight's a wonderful thing. It's got us where we are today, but we just need to tweak that and move on to the next level." That was quite a big step because I think that kind of mentality can sometimes cause the biggest friction when you've got someone coming in with a bit of arrogance saying, "I know what's right," but not being respectful of what's come before them. I think it can work both ways. I think Angie and Keith, have been very respectful of me and Jess, so when it comes to us making decisions, they've been very supportive. I think it has to work the other way as well, though.

Natalie Wright: I think you're right. Certainly, from what I've seen with a lot of family businesses, it's having that respect on a personal basis, as well as on a professional business basis. Again, as you've said, they have put context to the decision-making and why you might be changing things moving forward in a way that, actually isn't saying that they've personally done something wrong. It's just things have changed, the environment's changed and actually, this is how we need to take things forward, but sometimes really gets lost in translation.

Josie Morris: Everyone does it differently, but I got to the point where I would say to my mom, "I'm talking to you like your daughter," or, "I'm talking to you as MD." It was quite weird. I think over time, mentality-wise and emotion-wise at work are very different. Sometimes it crosses over, but very different from when at home. Sometimes I'll have to say to my mom, less so now because they've stepped away a bit more, but particularly in the early days, "I'm going to say this to you as the MD, please. This isn't your speaking daughter now." [laughs] It wasn't really anything that harsh that makes it sound really dramatic. It was probably just saying that we need to change the tea or something.

I think it's quite an emotional thing. If I'm completely honest, I have a very good relationship with my mom, but I think there's definitely an adjustment in your relationship when you first join, it's finding that balance between being the baby of the family and talking to my mom quite a lot about my life, to not have a chat at work about my life because my mom's here. Do you know what I mean? It's quite a weird thing and then that can feel quite cold if I say to mom, "How are you?" She says, "I'm a bit stressed." For her, she switches on and goes, "Oh, are you okay?" I'm like, "Yes, I'm fine." That sounds quite harsh, isn't it?

Natalie Wright: Yes, absolutely.

Josie Morris: I've learned a lot of lessons through that time and ways to manage that and ways to shut out certain feelings or ways to manage situations, so you don't cause that feud between you. I think communication is the biggest way to break down those barriers, rather than ignoring that awkward conversation.

Natalie Wright: It sounds like what you're saying as well is, be clear on your boundaries, but actually, sometimes those boundaries will be blurred and it's deciding when you need to blur them, about when you need to be really fixed with them as well. As you say, at some points, you'll have decisions to make as the MD where you need to make those decisions, but know that you can make them in a way that isn't pulling you into that personal territory as well so that the decisions are respected, but people know that you're making them for the business, as well as thinking about the wider family.

Josie Morris: I think it's being honest about the motivation behind the decision. Like you say, the openness to say, "This isn't personal, I've made this shift because of x, y, and z," and taking the time to do it. Particularly as a younger generation coming through, what you tend to think is, "I know what I'm doing. You're the old generation. I'm coming in, I'm taking it on." I think generally in the wider world, there is a bit of a dismissal of the older generation.

Apparently, they vote for Brexit, they ruin the earth, all those things that are put in the media. All the young people aren't working hard and young people doing this and that, which all of that is completely false. The older generation, yes, things could have been done better, but the older generation created lots of opportunities, and technology, they created all sorts of things for the world that are positive. The younger generation is really hard working. A lot of the young people we have coming into work are really hardworking, really intelligent, really switched on.

I think it's not letting some of that outside noise come in and then having an open conversation that says, "This is where I'm coming from, wherever you're coming from?" That compromise and meeting in the middle. You will have personality clashes, but I think if you're open about it and you talk about it and you have those awkward conversations that no one wants to have, but you have to have them, that's definitely stood us in a lot better stead, than ignoring it and letting barriers to building up.

Natalie Wright: You mentioned it a couple of times about Angela and Keith stepping back. That sounds like it has been gradual, as you say, on some levels and quite quick on others. Did you see a difference, in terms of their personal planning and considerations around stepping back after what happened in 2020? We've generally talked to a lot of family businesses that said that was a real catalyst for change on a personal basis, as well as a business basic.

Josie Morris: Yes, I think is a simple answer to that question. I will expand, so it isn't just a one-word answer. I think they were heading towards some form, and I hate to say because if they listen to this, I think still retirement is a word they don't really want to use. I don't know another word for it, I'm going to have to say it. I think previous to COVID, there was a plan in there to the R-word and move away from the business at some point. Now, I think they'll always be involved in many ways.

Mom loves product innovation. She's a true entrepreneur and in the actual sense of the word entrepreneur, not like the sense it's bandied around, but an actual entrepreneur. That's what she comes up with ideas, creations, and products. She has some crazy brain that can basically create products, just 3D and all those kinds of things. I think she will never completely switch off and I think Keith's the kind of guy that will always work and do things to keep him ticking over. He actually currently reads the voice for Sherlock Holmes. He does some narration stories, which is off-topic completely, but something quite interesting, in German as well, which is quite amazing. Sherlock Holmes in German. Anyway, different topic.

They're off doing things and staying busy and being involved with the business. They sometimes come to the management meetings and things like that. I think what they have done is, that COVID has made them accept that that's what they want to do. I think before perhaps, there was that treadmill of, "This is what we've done for however many years," it's always how many because they'll tell me off. "This is what we've done for how many years. This has been our life." I think COVID gave them that point to go, "No, actually, this is what we now want to do." That was the catalyst, definitely.

Natalie Wright: Almost like the permission to pursue their own interests and not feel guilty about it?

Josie Morris: Yes, exactly, and having two years of trialing some things that they enjoy doing and they wanted to continue doing them. They've paid their dues, haven't they, really, with their working life. They've paid their dues and they deserve to be of reading Sherlock Holmes in German?

Natalie Wright: Absolutely, yes. It sounds like a great career.

Josie Morris: Picking and choosing what they want to do. Actually, I'd love to be in a position where you can go into the business that you created and do the bits that you love doing. Let's be honest, the majority of my job, I absolutely love, but there are some things that I'd love to pass on to someone else when I get the opportunity.

Natalie Wright: Looking to the future of the business then and when I had to look at your LinkedIn bio, I absolutely love the fact that it starts with businesses should be a force for good. To me, that just clearly shows how strong your sense of sustainability is and it's at the core of what you do. What makes that decision process start than for you to head towards B Corp? I'm really interested to understand more about that.

Josie Morris: Obviously, B Corp measures certain aspects of a business. It was more that we were acting a certain way as a business, we were making sure our decisions were following a certain pattern. We were mindful of the environment with our products. We were being mindful of our team by investing in their training and things like that. I think the reason we actually went for B Corp was to show that some of the things we were saying to our customers we were doing, we were actually doing.

It's very easy for businesses to go, "We're green, we're sustainable, we look after our team," when the reality isn't that at all. We wanted something that was external to back up the kind of things we were doing. I'm a big believer that, this is going to sound like a really cheesy statement, but I don't know if you've watched Spider-Man, then you heard that with great power comes great responsibility, which actually I'm lucky enough to be put in a position where I have the, I hate the word power, but I have that almost platform to be able to do something positive, so why wouldn't you? I think B Corp then allowed us to display that we're doing that externally.

I think sometimes, it's difficult to show that and prove it if you're only saying it from an internal voice.

Natalie Wright: I don't think it's a surprise either, from everything that you've said there, that we're actually seeing a growing number of family businesses become B Corp as well, so linked to the culture and the values and actually being able to demonstrate that because that's a tangible thing, isn't it, how do you demonstrate it? Do you see that trend continuing, particularly with more Next-gen entrepreneurs coming through and leading businesses?

Josie Morris: Yes, I think naturally, whether they go for B Corp, it isn't for everyone. It is something I think it's great, obviously, but it has its pros and cons to it. For me, it's a good way to measure yourself as a company. It's a good way to keep improving as a company. I think, definitely, the generation coming through, whether you want to or whether it's a necessity, I think it's going to become something you have to do because it will get you to a point in, it is my opinion again, I'm happy to have challenged on this, which is we're getting to a point in society where if we don't start thinking about the treatment of people or if we don't start thinking about the treatment of climate, businesses and family businesses are all about legacy and all about future. I'm talking about future gen coming in, if there's no society or environment or planet for the future gen to come into the business on, then there's no point having a business at this stage if that makes sense.

For me, again, it's my opinion, it's how I want the business to be. I'm not saying it's right for every business, but I think it's about being mindful about the impact of your business because it has to be for the future, to still be here in 10, 15 years' time.

Natalie Wright: It's that whole stewardship role, isn't it? It takes the business forward and hopefully, leaves it in a better position than when you took it on so that it can continue to get better for future generations. You are maintaining that legacy?

Josie Morris: Yes. I think there's probably more awareness around things like climate change. I know my nephews will get taught at school about plastics in the environment or they'll get taught about climate change. I don't really remember that even when I was younger, but I don't think I'm that old yet. Even when I was younger, how many years ago, I think there is definitely more awareness of, I'm not saying everyone's aware and everything's going to be perfect in however many years, but I think there's certainly more awareness about it and it's certainly where we have to do something however small. If everyone does something small, it makes a big impact, doesn't it?

Natalie Wright: It does. It's all those marginal gains.

Josie Morris: Yes, indeed.

Natalie Wright: Thank you so much for your time, Josie. There's absolutely nothing better than sharing a lived experience. I'm sure there'll be lots of the next-gen leaders listening who completely resonate with what you've said today. I'm going to close with two quick questions if that's okay. First one, can you tell me your favorite well-known family-run business and the reason why?

Josie Morris: I've got two. I've got LEGO. I just think it's a fantastic business and I think the fact that they diversified so quickly and over the years, they've stayed relevant, whether that's changing their range and adding Harry Potter into the range or whatever. Even introducing girls' LEGO now, apparently, actually is fantastic. Then just adding their Teamsons as well, I think the mentality of Teamsons and how they treat their team is awesome. They're my two. I'm sorry, I gave you two but--

Natalie Wright: No, we like to hear these examples. Teamson seems a popular one as well. Great to hear that one again. Final question, can you share with us a podcast or book recommendation for any rising family business leaders?

Josie Morris: Generally, from a podcast perspective, I will usually listen to mainly history podcasts. I quite like history, whether it's about dictators or about a short history of certain events in time. I think it's really interesting to learn about how society is built and things that have happened over in history. I think the main book that's always stuck with me is a book called Sapiens by a guy called Yuval Noah Harari. I absolutely love it because I think it's so fascinating insight into people. I think it's true, not just in our societal way, but in a business.

When you've got people in new business, you can recognize the things he's saying in that book. Really interesting book. If people haven't read it, definitely worth a read.

Natalie Wright: Completely agree. I've read that book and I highly recommend it. I think there are so many great takeaways from it.

Josie Morris: Agreed.

Natalie Wright: Thank you very much, Josie. That brings the second episode of the third season of Exploring Family Business Podcast with Mazars to a close. If you enjoyed today's show, please subscribe to the series and leave a review on the Apple podcast. It will help us to extend our reach to the family business community.

Join me on the next episode when I'll be speaking with Cara Macklin, Founder and Creative Disruptor at Caram. Cara works with family business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to do things differently. Whether that's disrupting an industry, creating meaningful change, or scaling growth. I look forward to sharing more with you then, but for now, thank you for listening.

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