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Families in Business Blog


The key to a successful family in business is effective communication, early communication and honest communication. Once that has happened you can start succession planning with a common purpose.
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The issue of succession and the transfer of leadership, ownership and business accountability has reached a critical stage in Australia as many founders are now in their seventies and eighties. The next generation is sitting in the waiting room and hopefully they will not be a Prince Charles and take over by the time the third generation is also ready.
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Most reliable research on Family Business says that those with an advisory board out perform those without one.

If your family business is only listening to other family members then you are missing out on the experience, knowledge and wisdom of others. You need to add advisory board members who add value and not just a different skill set.
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How should a family business choose an external advisor?

Look for someone who adds value to the family and the business. Most successful families in business understand that they do not have all the skills to be successful in the long term. Many set up advisory panels or boards after conducting a skills gap analysis
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If your family members don't know what your future Vision looks like, how will you achieve it?

I don't believe I have ever come across a business, especially a family business, where all owners or stakeholders can tell me exactly what the vision or purpose of the business
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The language you use when talking to older family leaders is important

When conversing with long term family leaders you need to be aware of the expressions and language you use. I have compiled the attached chart to highlight some of the terminology used in 2018 that might not resonate with baby boomer founders.
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I keep coming across families in business who do not have a succession strategy or plan

You cannot deny the published research. Nearly 70% of families in business do not have a succession plan for the next generation. Many family business leaders have never had a conversation regarding succession with their children. Without the conversations taking place confusion and emotions will hinder a smooth transition.
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Leaders never stop learning

The man died at 25, but wasn't buried until 75. (Ben Franklin)
You must apply a program of continuous learning for yourself and never assume that you have reached a point where you think learning does not apply to you.
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Why I will drive 2 hours there and back for a one hour family business meeting meeting

Family business meetings are often full of emotion. Especially when you have a diverse mix of individual family members in the meeting
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Families in business must not fall into the trap of believing what has happened in the past is right for the future

Failing to innovate and researching for ways to anticipate your customers future needs means you are content to just keep doing what you have always done. The end result will be a declining family business that will not survive the next generation.
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