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.
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.
Writing a letter that expresses business advice from the leader of a family business to the successors of the business is an excellent method for examining what is truly important. This exercise allows the family business leader to reflect on the values of the family, review past challenges and provide invaluable family business advice that will provide beneficial guidance.
Successful family business relationships are key to holding a family business together. Some of the qualities families in business must have to be successful include: shared values, shared power, traditions, willingness to learn and grow, activities to maintain relationships, genuine caring, mutual respect, ability to support each other, privacy and boundaries.
Nepotism is neither good nor bad, in and of itself. Nepotism is the practice of showing favoritism toward one’s family members or friends in economic or employment terms. Experience has shown that nepotism works IF and ONLY IF the values of the family members are congruent and the successor is fully qualified.
In family business, there is a clearly defined but invisible control mechanism called the family system. This system is often referred to as the family business psychology. In family business, the keys to implementing solutions to business problems are often locked up in the psychology of the family. Business solutions cannot be effective if family business psychology is ignored.
When a family business adopts a mission statement that spells out the business rules of engagement, the members of the family working for the business have something to anticipate. When it's possible to look forward to what lies ahead for a family business, a forward-looking approach and outlook is developed.