What is a henokien? – my weekly perspective


Story time of long lived family businesses – the henokien member.

The Henokiens were created in 1981 by Gérard Glotin. The name goes back to the biblical story of Henok, son of Cain, who lived for 365 years before he was called up to heaven, although not yet dead – according to the Bible. Henok represents the essential qualities of the members of the association: longevity and permanence.

Thanks to the authors of a great paper on Henokien members by:
Morten Bennedsen, INSEAD – Economics and Political Sciences
Ludo Van der Heyden, INSEAD – Technology and Operations Management

To be considered for membership with the existing 40 Henokien members

, a family business has to meet specific entry requirements:

 It must be at least 200 years old;
 The family must be the owner of the company or the major shareholder;
 One or more family members must be actively involved in management or governance;
 The business must be in good financial shape.

The Henokiens have outlined four fundamental values that are the core of their vocation:
TESTIFY to the ability of the most ancient companies to thrive in an ever-changing world;
CREATE friendly relations between such companies, fostering exchange of ideas and experiences;
DEMONSTRATE that the Henokiens continue to set an example for tomorrow’s economy;
DEVELOP entrepreneurial spirit through recognition (awards) and links with universities and academic institutions.

Well said. These Henokien members have embraced generational succession planning and have achieved success.

Learn, think, apply!