The Family Business Check-Up

As we previously discussed, 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. In prior posts and ‘Check-Up’ we considered Familiness and Family Values; this time the Family Business Check-up looks at Communication.

Effective communications is foundational for any group or organization. The effectiveness in communication requires relationships and feedback. This aspect of the check-up focuses on communication as a critical process for the family to understand each other and nurture deep relastionships.

Each Family Member should address the following statements:

1.Our Family feels free to communicate openly and honestly with our Senior Family members.

2.To avoid offending anyone in our Family Business, we are very careful to communicate through formal channels.

3.Our Family Leadership seeks extensive input from Family members who will be affected by a given decision.

4.In our Family, information is shared with those who need it, when they need it.

5.When our Family has disagreements, Family members are willing to work hard to develop understanding and a win-win solution.

How would your family, employees, and customers, clients, or vendors, answer these questions about Communication in 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?

When was the last time your Family Business had a check-up?

What did you find?

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