I am not sharing our secrets and I don't need help from outside the family

An experienced external facilitator can add enormous value to a family business. Especially if they have an understanding of how a family works within a family business.

The comments regarding outsiders is what I am confronted with sometimes when the next generation talk to me and seek assistance to get their parents to trust them and to stop treating them as is they are still teenagers and not as passionate and knowledgeable young adults who want the business to continue and thrive into the future.

My proven method is to facilitate one-on-one conversations with all family members before holding a meeting with all family members present. Its not necessarily my knowledge of a particular issue, its my ability to use my practical experience gained over time to read the emotions and to understand the ambitions of each individual family member. It's not about systems or processes, it's about truthful and sometimes confronting conversations.

I have not always been successful. Some family leaders are so stubborn and have a need to be in control that listening or filtering the information is beyond them. Whereas, others get it and plans are agreed and succession is planned and managed.

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