Most of the important tools used in consulting with families in business are not carried in a briefcase. Certainly, there is much to be learned from taking classes about business, attending forums about consulting, and spending time with mentors. Over the years I have observed, however, that the most successful consultants for families in business come into the craft with some degree of natural talent. Video conferencing is light years better than just voices over a phone line. Consulting for families in business has always been about finding ways to make things work.
Meeting the family members and any other players is not by any means the first step of a new consulting opportunity. Most likely you have spent time researching and there have been phone and email exchanges well before it is time to shake hands and make eye contact. I have had to make some big adjustments in my consulting practice, as I am sure everyone has. I am sure it has been a challenge for both sides.
Family business continuity involves the development of an agreement on how decisions will be made or terms for employment of family members. The family's Rules of Engagement define expectations and help a family business avoid running into trouble. Many successful family businesses have pre-set ground rules that define expectations.