Family Businesses

Families Businesses rarely consider the true cost and implications of the emotional health and subsequent behaviours of family members.

Family businesses tend to focus on the bottom line, ignoring the ’emotional health of the business, if that’s good then everything else is OK.

However there are often varying sized ‘elephants in the room’, which blind freddy can see, but the family members don’t.

Family‘s live by equality, business’s live by outcomes – achieving the right balance is critical

Getting the balance right is a behavioural exercise, not a strategic exercise. In the family, everyone is considered equal and fairness is expected, in the business you want the best from people and it is about merit. We uncover ‘family unwritten ground rule, i.e. fairness does not equal entitlement.

SEMANTICS – AVOID EMPTY WORDS 

Communication is key for all human interactions. All groups and people systems (family business) have their own language. This means assumptions and ‘hidden’ meaning around words and concepts. We work with you to uncover these assumptions around ‘semantics’ and bring them out into the open, as this is the pivotal point for success or abject failure for family businesses.

  • This gives family businesses the skills, trust and mutual respect necessary to openly deal with sensitive issues without becoming overly defensive; and
  • Means all complex business issues are tackled with open communication so issues are identified and potential solutions can be explored.

FAIRNESS VERSUS ENTITLEMENT 

We help family members to be transparent about their intentions, motivations safely and without judgement. We work with you to develop realistic clear roles for each family and non-family member in the business paid at the market rate which remunerates the job, not the person. We help develop a transitional succession plan that is endorsed by all involved.

  • This enables your family business to always be transparent and know the difference between reality and ‘aspirations’. 
  • Successful family businesses develop a culture of stewardship, instead of an ‘entitlement mentality’.

FOCUS ON THE GREATER GOOD 

Successful family businesses have a clear company structure where family members and employees follow the lines of reporting on the organisation chart. Family members make agreements among themselves focused on the greater good and create a respectful environment built on trust.

  • The most critical behaviour leading to sustain success is where family members do NOT interfere in places outside their areas of responsibility.
  • Family members need to leave the family behaviours at the door each day, as business success is directly proportional to the capability of each member’s ability to focus on the GREATER GOOD.