Family Business Consultation


Family business represents 92% of all businesses. They have a special challenge and a special opportunity. While all businesses need to address the issues below, family businesses often need help navigating them.

Unlike other businesses, you cannot choose to leave without a ripple effect felt throughout the family. Being able to address these and other issues with a sense of commitment and pride that are key adhesives in family firms and what can make the difference.

The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Family Businesses

We would like to suggest it addresses the following: respect, roles, rules, responsibility, relationship management, regeneration, and results.


Can family members treat each other with respect? Do people value different perspectives? How are differences handled? Are there established ground rules?


Are the roles clear, and are authority and responsibility compensated with the roles? Is there confusion about who does what? Are there job descriptions?


What assumptions do people make about the rules? Are there written agreements about equity, compensation, time off?


Is there a sense of responsibility, duty, commitment, or a sense of entitlement?

What are the values and culture that are perpetrated about obligations, loyalty, and excellence in the firm? Is there a sense of servant leader?


How are relationships managed? Are conflict and communication addressed? Are there standards of behavior that are reinforced or discarded?


Is there accountability around performance, follow through, focus, action plans? Is this a

commitment to provide training to increase results? Are there consequences when results are not met? Are targets met? Is there a board of directors? How is incompetence managed?


What is the company doing to create growth? Is there a strategic plan? Is there a succession plan? Are the vision, values, and mission of the company revised and reviewed at transitions? Is there evidence throughout the company what those are, or is there alignment among corporate, department, and individual goals? Is the company committed to growing the talent pool to contribute to company regeneration? How is innovation cultivated? Has the business model or lines of business chance?

Family Business Success Story


A mid-size family firm was grappling with choosing a successor. The founder and his wife had two daughters who each had their strength and weaknesses. Guilt of choosing one prevented any action.


We began our assessment (Stages 1 and 2) by observing the family team in their management meeting, doing a DISC assessment, and individual interviews. It was during these interviews we discovered that the older daughter was more interested in pursuing other professional dreams than working in the family business. We set the agenda for the family business retreat so that these issues could be aired.


After the family business retreat, we continued with Stages 3-7 to finalize the transition.

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