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Keeping up with the Kardashian's Kash

What I learned, and you should too, about this famous clan


The pandemic has me home more than ever, with the tv running constantly as a form of escapism. Spending time with family means compromise with the remote, which for me results in a lot of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.


The Kardashians, famous for nothing, really should be famous for the incredible planning of its matriarch with the Momager title, Kris Jenner. She has deftly morphed the family business of reality tv, to a business-owning family involved in everything from lip kits, to socks to performance shapewear. Their success is astounding.


Jenner runs her own production company, Jenner Communications, which is the epicenter of reality tv deals and the additional businesses of her six children. She successfully manages the slippery slope of both loving mother and driven momager. As a consultant and advisor to family and privately held businesses, I sit in awe of what Jenner gets right navigating the complexities of family businesses.


Addressing Family Conflict and Different Visions

With 70% of family businesses failing before they pass down to the second generation, Jenner is incredible about keeping the troops together. Having unaddressed family conflict, and not introducing flexibility into the operations when everyone has a different vision, can be detrimental to the business. In my view, she excels at encouraging discussions, and accommodating different levels of engagement in the show to honor where each of the children are at in their life’s journey. She influences family communication and inevitable conflict to healthy levels. Bravo!


Addressing Family Growth and Complexity

The reality show spans more than 11 years, and sees the family through marriages (one notably at 72 days), births, uncertain status of baby daddies (Lord Disick), and blended families. Any of these events in isolation with one family member could be disastrous, however Jenner and the Kardashian crew roll with it, lead with love and are inclusive to work the complexity of family dynamics into their business model. When most corporations in the US failed to be sensitive to LGBTQ issues, the Kardashians were forced to address it head-on in a very painfully public way with their own Bruce-to-Kaitlyn transition. It’s admirable and a testament to their strength of family values.


Family-owned Business to Business-Owning Family

Adept planning to diversify revenue streams is important. Jenner clearly nurtures each of her children and helps them create businesses that play into their individual passions. Rob with the sock business, Kylie with the Kylie Cosmetics empire, Kendall with the modeling and Kim with everything from video games to shapewear. The list goes on. Diversification and creating businesses born of each child’s passion is a way to keep it all rolling and also keep the peace. The 10% commission to Jenner isn’t bad either!


I’ve enjoyed examining Keeping Up With The Kardashians as a well-oiled empire, but thankful for my turn with the remote to watch some golf!


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H. Barry Goodman of Birkdale Transition Partners is not, and has not been retained by those named in this article. Birkdale Transition Partners provides guidance to family-owned and privately held companies on complex business issues and transition matters. Visit https://www.birkdaletransition.com to learn more.


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