Boundaries Are Universal

The single most important issue in family business, above all the other important ones, is boundaries. Failure to establish and adhere to proper boundaries is the cause of more disruption than any other issue.

A First Step To Resolving Issues In The Family Business

I have worked 50+ years consulting in family business matters, and I recognize the clues when family members begin the process of working on “the issues.” “The issues” vary, of course, but there can turning points when a family business needs an outside opinion, maybe some suggestions, to resolve painful or contentious situations. For those family leaders who would like to do some groundwork, I’ve created an online course called Re-Imagining Relationships For Families In Business. This is a distillation of what I have seen and worked with over the length of my career. I know for sure that the relationships within the family business dynamic (or any business dynamic, for that matter) are the key to sustaining the legacy of success.

These Four Pillars Support A Successful Platform

The lessons around each of the 4 Pillars include exercises and supplemental resources to help family leaders, or the upcoming family leaders, understand and incorporate the key takeaways from each concept. Pillar 1 is all about Alignment. Right off the bat there is an exercise in values clarification because a leader must begin with what he (or she) knows about himself/herself. Then his job is to learn where the rest of the family is with their values. Once all have agreed on a values statement for the business, then they can move on to Pillar 2, which is about Boundaries. Anyone who grew up with siblings already knows that personal space is an issue that begins with the very young. (Mom! Make (brother or sister) get out of my room! Or move over in the car. Or stop playing with my toys, etc.)

Boundaries should be addressed right away when sorting out how to best get the family business moving together towards success. Oldest child may feel she should be able to step […]

Family Business Employment Policy: Individuation

This discussion relates to the second half of the Philosophy section developed by the Wilson family. As you review the elements below, I encourage you to think about the discussions the family must have had in the process of arriving at the statement.

By |2020-06-25T08:07:51-06:00June 1st, 2018|Categories: Articles, Family Relationships, Family Values, General, Managing Family Business|

Part Two: Family Business Employment Policy: Philosophy

This discussion relates to the second half of the Philosophy section developed by the Wilson family. As you review the elements below, I encourage you to think about the discussions the family must have had in the process of arriving at the statement.

By |2020-06-25T08:08:10-06:00May 15th, 2018|Categories: Articles, Family Relationships, Family Values, General, Managing Family Business|

Part One: Family Business Employment Policy: Philosophy

The process of building this policy required a great deal of discussion among the Wilson family. They needed to articulate who they were and what they stood for, and then they had to craft a statement that would work for them.

By |2020-06-25T08:08:29-06:00May 1st, 2018|Categories: Articles, Family Relationships, Family Values, General, Managing Family Business|

Family Business Employment Policy: “The Rules of Engagement”

Every game, including the “Game of Life,” has rules of engagement. Family businesses are best served when they clearly define the terms and conditions of employment for family members and for non-family.

When you are born into your family, you are accepted unconditionally. The love of your family is unconditional. At least, that is the way it should be.

Employment in a business is different from membership in a family. Regardless of the ownership structure, all businesses require competent employees in every position. Acceptance in the business must be conditional, based on competence and the ability to produce and perform at a consistently high level. If a person is less than competent, they simply will not meet that standard.

This blog is the first in a series on Family Business Employment policy.

What follows is the first blog in the series. My focus is the theory behind each section of the employment policy. This policy is drawn from an actual policy designed for a real company. The universal principles are excellent and applicable to all family businesses. This policy was developed in the mid 1980s and the principles underlying it are the “gold standard” of all family employment policies. Any family business policy worth its salt will have the components of this policy. The policy can be read in full at:
https://www.familybusinessmatters.consulting/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/familybusiness.pdf

The policy begins with a statement of purpose, establishing the fundamental reason for the policy:

To remove the ambiguity about the matter.

“The purpose of this policy is to define the procedures, process and criteria that will govern how the Wilson family lineal descendants and/or their spouses enter and exit the family company’s employ. (Note the clarity of including spouses as employees. Some families do not permit this.)

This employment policy is intended to remove the ambiguity […]

By |2020-06-25T08:09:09-06:00April 1st, 2018|Categories: Articles, General, Managing Family Business|

Family Constitutions and Other Related Matters

Family constitutions are a form of governance that sets up structure to regulate the manner in which family business matters are handled. A family constitution has the effect of helping a family run an efficient, effective, customer-focused and community-focused business. This type of focus ups the ante on the quality of behavior inside a family enterprise.

By |2020-06-25T08:11:54-06:00May 17th, 2015|Categories: Articles|

Corporate Governance in Family Business

Corporate governance in family business is essential for long-term success. Family businesses that have survived over the generations have an internal governance structure that parallels the structures found in leading businesses around the world. Such structures provide an internal discipline on how family and non-family members will function within the business.

By |2020-06-25T08:12:07-06:00May 17th, 2015|Categories: Articles|

Rules of Engagement

A policy for how family members will be permitted to participate in the family business can be referred to as Rules of Engagement. Family business rules are often manifested in the form of a Family Business Employment Policy. Family members working in the family business must show up, produce and perform to the same standards as non-family employees.

By |2020-06-25T08:12:43-06:00May 17th, 2015|Categories: Articles|

Transfer of Control in Family Business

All owners of a family business eventually must consider a family business transfer from one generation to another. For a smooth transfer, families are encouraged to make a fully documented, comprehensive plan for all the things that must happen in the business and in their families so that transfer of control can occur in a timely manner.

By |2020-06-25T08:12:59-06:00May 17th, 2015|Categories: Articles|

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.