The Third Most Exclusive Club in the World
Henok (or Enoch) was one of the greatest patriarchs. Caïn's son and Methuselah's father, he lived before the flood, and was 365 years old when he ascended to Heaven without having died. After a year of research, Gérard Glotin, Chairman of Marie Brizard (with the help of 164 Chambers of Commerce and 25 embassy attachés) was able to identify 74 companies and among them made a selection of about thirty.
The first meeting took place in 1981 in Bordeaux. Since then, the Henokiens (there are 32 members in 2003) meet each year in a different country for their general meeting. For the year 2000 it was in Holland, 2001 in Italy, 2002 in Germany and 2003 in France.
In short, these families operated in relative isolation for more than two centuries, making their achievements nothing short of miraculous!
With all their theory and book learning, could the hotshot MBAs out of Harvard or Stanford or Wharton--and their descendants--pull off miracles such as these?
We'll never know. But I would not bet on it.
My Failed Dream …
The story of the Henokiens is a book I have desperately wanted to write for years. The problem is I would need four months and a $100,000 advance to cover travel and expenses through Europe and Japan. I hit 70 next week. With clients and crazy deadlines, that just ain't in the cards.
But this is a book crying to be written. If done right, it would be right up there with "In Search of Excellence"--an international best-seller for decades and required reading for everyone who is in a family business or thinking about starting one.
To some author and publisher out there, I offer the World War II submariners' toast: "Good hunting."
The Henokiens--By Year (Ascending)
(Also noted: Those companies that have a museum)