The Family Business Check-Up

As we looked at in a post earlier this year, Physicians encourage us to have annual check-ups. This is critical in order to understand, prevent and address potential health risks.

Family owned Businesses, of any age or generation, also need to take routine assessment of the health of their business, family, and individuals in the business. To get a clear true understanding, the assessment should consider, separately and in combination, all the factors that enhance the health of the Business Family. Critical areas that should be evaluated can include: Leadership; Values; Change; Goal Orientation; Empowerment; Communications; Team Work; Interpersonal Relationships; Familiness; Customer Focus; and Individual Recognition.

The best way to find out what is actually going on in the family and business is to ask those in the family and in the business. Last time we considered Familiness; this time the check-up considers the area of Values.

A recognition and adoption of the values, guidelines, and way of behaving that a Family has declared by which family members behave, make decisions and take actions. When there is strong commitment and agreement to those values family members and employees are able to focus on the family needs and the business needs and mission.

Each Family Member should address the following statements:

1.Our family has written Values that motivate, guide, and impact our family’s actions and behaviors.

2.Our Family Values are sometimes compromised to attain the business goals.

3.Our Family traditions often interfere with clear thinking and effective decision-making.

4.One of our Family’s strengths lies in the strong commitment of doing the right thing because it is the right thing.

5.As a Family we ‘audit’ ourselves to determine if we are living and practicing our family and business values.

How would your family, employees, and customers, clients, or vendors, answer these questions about the Values of your family and your family business?

We will continue to explore critical areas for the annual check-up of Family Owned Business in later posts.

What are your thoughts regarding the annual check-up?

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