Have you ever thought of Family Businesses actually being "a sector" ?
We strongly believe that family businesses should be viewed as a sector. Of course, family businesses do also represent all other industry sectors and comprise of many industries - from manufacturing to care homes and from bakeries to holiday parks.
Regardless of the industry, family owned businesses not only have to tackle the day to day challenges of business and a fast changing world but also those presented by working with kin. From the language used, the expectations felt and dynamics and emotions that can bubble under the surface - family businesses have an added dimension that is often overlooked.
All businesses need to consider succession, future proofing, protection and governance but in the family business sector a little more consideration needs to be given. It's not a simple case of everyone sitting down and drawing up some procedures and agreements - the needs, wants and issues get caught up and complicate things.
In many ways running a business is a 'project', albeit a pretty huge one, but so is running a family. When the two overlap and you add in the other elements of ownership, wealth, emotions, perceptions, generations and so on they become littered with challenges and unique dynamics.
When family businesses function positively and all's running smoothly they are the most exciting, innovative and wonderful things to be part of however many develop small issues that we tend to ignore and leave for many years - because we are afraid to upset someone or the consequences of saying how we actually feel or perhaps don't want to let someone down. These issues when left can fester and develop into not just one elephant in the room but in some cases a whole herd.
With these situations you have to explore all aspects in order to help the family, individuals and business to progress - it is highly responsible and specialised work
"Business and human endeavors are systems…we tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system. And wonder why our deepest problems never get solved.” (Peter Senge)