Family-owned companies are plentiful in number and unique in character. Like any other type of company, these businesses are not immune to being infiltrated by the 9Stucks. In fact, a family business is fertile breeding ground for a unique 9Stucks mix that is often configured with a twist and a flair for the dramatic.
One blog post can’t do justice to these ‘pesky plights’ so I’ve created a 5-part series. Each post describes one misstep of family business leadership that can exacerbate the 9Stucks.
- Family needs vs. business needs: They are strikingly out of balance. (This is Part 1: The Seesaw)
- Strategic direction is stymied: Conflict over growth vs. maintaining the status quo freezes the business in its tracks. (Part 2: The Strategy Freeze)
- Transition/succession plan is non-existent: The owners can’t or won’t let go. (Part 3: The Handoff)
- Governance and decision-making at the top is concentrated and insulated: There is a weak independent board of directors/advisors, or one doesn’t exist. (Part 4: The Bubble)
- Sacred cows graze in the company’s organizational pasture: Top leadership spots are based on birthright or longterm ‘family favorite’ status rather than skills. These sacred cows crowd out talented non-family leaders. (Part 5: The Sacred Cows)
One caveat: This series is not intended to be a detailed discussion of all the intricacies and nuances related to management of a family owned business. There is considerable published content focused on all aspects of the family business: research, writing, business groups, websites, and magazines.
I simply want to help identify and evaluate these 5 disabling conditions – and suggest ways to get rid of them.