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.
“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.
David Bork is proud to have contributed the forward for the book, MAPS for Men: A Guide for Fathers and Sons and Family Businesses. New York Times best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio show host Dave Ramsey calls this important book “a must-have resource for any and every family business."
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.
One way to build relationships is for family members to learn together by attending conferences, workshops or classes. When multiple family members attend family business education classes together, they learn new skills and ideas and they can discuss those ideas with the rest of the family and determine how those ideas may be of use in their own situation.