“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’ve spent some time looking back on a half-century career of working with families in business, and I see that, when those involved realized the overall impact of family businesses in global terms, then our consulting and support profession really gained depth and structure.
Top Ten Family Business Facts | Fact #2: The Cluster Model Helps Capture the Evolution of Your Family Business Over Time
Traditionally, family businesses are described as constituent of three overlapping circles: 1) the family, 2) the business, and 3) the ownership (Gersick, Davis, McCollom Hampton, & Lansberg, 1997; Tagiuri & Davis, 1996). Recently, Michael-Tsabari, Labaki, & Zachary (2014) suggested the Cluster Model to update the two and three-circle models by providing a more detailed picture of the circles’ evolution over time.
A successful family business must be poised to prosper for many generations to come. A quick list of necessary items needed to create a successful family business include: alignment on important matters, a shared vision for the company, a detailed action plan, a family constitution, a shareholder agreement, a responsible owner and an official employment policy.
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.
Family business structure and the concept of adapting and evolving applies to family-owned business. When creating solutions for a family business, the first step is to analyze the functions that need to take place to make the business work. Family business structure and efficiency can ultimately lead to higher profitability.
The power of the Golden Share is immense. All family businesses should be using International Best Practices for Family Business. A family-owned business is, first and foremost, a business. If a family wants its business to be successful, if must be run the way any successful business is run. Keeping the focus on the business is what makes things possible.
It can be easy to create a family business mess - even when International Best Practices for Family Business are followed. Being aware of business mistakes to avoid is optimal for delineating clear responsibility for positions and accountability for outcomes. It's important to anticipate possible outcomes of family business decisions before a family business mess is created.
Family business transition is something that all family businesses will endure at some point. When the founder or leader of a family business passes, survivors must have adequate information so they can make wise decisions about the business. Information should be compiled and customized so the family is fully prepared for the unexpected.