Allowing Each Other To Be Different

Parents will often say they can’t believe how different their children are. Then they say they don’t understand why their children can’t get along with each other and/or the parents in the family business.

If the long term goal is to keep the business a family business, generally the next generation of management will be chosen from a relatively small group.

Will this group always get along? NO, because quite often they are very different. If I ask family members if they would choose each other to be business partners quite often the answer is “no”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t work together successfully in a family business.

The next question is “Why not?”.

The answer to that quite often leads to identifying the differences such as personality, work styles and generational perspectives that need to be addressed.

It means that good communication, allocating definite roles and responsibilities and having a commitment to allowing personal differences to enhance the business must be instilled early on in the transition process.

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