Alignment is how learning to resolve family issues begins, and this is how my self-study course, Re-Imagining Relationships For Families In Business begins. My use of the concept of alignment is meant to be a 3D acceptance of your basic core values. From the course, “It all begins when you identify the values you embrace, then examine the messages you tell yourself when it comes to those values. You must ask yourself, ‘How well-aligned is my behavior with my values?’“

I believe strongly that every family business should have a written statement of its core values. If you are the family leader, you should have your own house in order first before asking family members to join in a common allegiance for the business. “A values statement will list the core principles that guide and direct the family business. A values statement defines owners’ deeply held beliefs and will be the guiding directives they use to build the organizational culture.“

There are exercises throughout Re-Imagining Relationships that make it easier to sit down and just get started addressing the issues in your family business. Yes, you do get to decide, as a family, what is right and what is wrong. After you all agree on your family definitions of right and wrong, then it’s easy to agree on a family code of ethics. Setting standards will protect and benefit your common business goals.

Support Your Goal To Succeed

“If your goal is to have a successful family enterprise, you must first be totally aligned within yourself. Then find a way to apply the alignment concept to your family, business, family office, and all parts of your extended business family.“

And this is important: I hope you can approach these lessons and my exercises with the lightness and the “Ah ha!“ that comes with finally finding a way. Alignment is the first step in a not-so-long journey, but I know for sure that each intersection you cross in the Re-Imagining Relationships course will help you. I’ll wrap up the Alignment pillar in my next blog, then we move on to Pillar 2, Boundaries.

David Bork is an internationally-acclaimed family business consultant, author, and speaker with five decades of experience providing guidance to over 500 family business enterprises. A pioneer in the industry, David brings a wealth of knowledge and insight into the many challenges of running a successful family business and has assisted families in charting their way through every imaginable family business issue. He is the author of The Little Red Book of Family Business and just published the online course, Re-Imagining Relationships for Families in Business. For more information about David Bork, visit FamilyBusinessMatters.Consulting.