Need Family Business Coaching?
Unburdening yourself can be an incredible feeling of freedom
“You are unique, just like everybody else”
– Margaret Mead –
Every family Business is an original. The good news is that family businesses have similar problems that have already been addressed in situations other than yours.
Besides the usual business issues including financial, HR, management, and the normal stresses of business running and ownership, families are 24/7. Ever have business stresses that carried over into Thanksgiving or Christmas? Ever have issues of hiring kids, nieces, nephews? How and who decides leadership of the business in the future? That’s far more complicated when you have relatives competing for that position.
Our job is giving families the tools to build unity, growth and continuity.
Confiding in a trusted advisor, not related to the family, who can offer unbiased insight and advice can help you build a more solid business, unify the family and develop more effective leadership. A business coach can help you effectively manage your home-life and work-life and teach you the required skills you need to confront problems, openly address issues, and resolve conflicts. A coach can help you navigate the minefield of creating a succession plan—an important function that is touchy and thus often neglected in family-owned companies.
We take a holistic approach to managing a family business. The business and family are inseparable. Any family problem affects the business and any business problem affects the family. Both the business and family must be considered when evaluating and implementing family councils and boards, meeting facilitation, conflict management and resolution, financial and business strategy, succession planning, management and leadership development, and more.
Family business coaching can help address challenges that show up at the intersection of family and business such as
- Helping family leaders to develop and use their leadership and management skills.
- Helping the current leaders manage a smooth transition to the next generation
- Helping the first generation let go of running the business.
- Helping to identify needs, goals, and vision for both the business and the family.
- Assist in aligning business/family goal setting and implementation
- Aligning the family around a shared vision for success
- Group decision making
- Understanding roles and responsibilities
- Manage individual expectations around growth, risk, liquidity and profitability
- Strong communication among shareholders.
This process allows a family business to engage more in pursuing business and worry less about the implications of decisions on the family or individual members. It frees leadership to focus on the things that will most generate success, and provides a benchmark for accountability to ensure that the family’s vision is also being achieved.
The process of creating, documenting and sharing business policies allows a family to protect itself against future conflict, by specifying up front how a wide variety of potentially contentious issues will be handled. Policies can answer challenging questions like:
- Which family members can work in the business? How do they become eligible?
- How are family members in the business evaluated and compensated?
- How will the family handle terminating a family member that isn’t performing?
- What role does ownership have in decision making? What decisions are made by management?
- How do we make decisions as a family? How do we resolve disagreements?
- Who can serve on the board of directors? For how long? What are the responsibilities that come with that?
- What financial information is disclosed to the family? Does it differ based on owner/non-owner, director/non-director?
- How are spouses treated within the business? Do they have a voice in family decision making?
- What do we hold confidential? What can we share with spouses and children?
- What role does philanthropy play in the business? In the family?
- Who can own shares? How and when is stock given, bought and sold?
Running a family business requires constant vigilance and work. Family businesses have an average lifespan of twenty-four years. Thirty-five percent of family businesses pass successfully to the second generation, 12% to the third generation, and 4% to the fourth. Executive coaching can help family business owners implement strategies to keep their businesses going for generations. Make sure you’re on the positive side of these statistics.
Let’s get together soon and begin to explore ways to solidify your business and family foundations providing for a solid future for you and your loved ones.