Frequently asked questions about family business

Picture of John Broons
John Broons

John Broons is a globally awarded family business expert. One of only three people in Australia to hold the coveted title of Fellow of Family Firm Institute (Boston, USA), John has dedicated his working career to answering the question: how do I guide and support families in business to a place where they’re thriving?

Families in business often grapple with tough conversations, disagreements, disharmony, and disconnection. The unique dynamics of family relationships can introduce emotional complexities that extend beyond typical business challenges.

Frequently asked questions about family business
How does being a family member within a family business differ from other business environments?

The role of a family member in a family business comes with added layers of complexity. Balancing personal and professional relationships, navigating family dynamics, and making decisions that impact both the business and family life are unique challenges faced by family members.

Are there specific skills required to be successful in a family business?

Success in a family business goes beyond traditional business skills. Emotional intelligence, effective communication, conflict resolution, and the ability to navigate family relationships are crucial skills for thriving in the unique environment of a family business.

What is the impact of failure in a family business?

The impact of failure in a family business is often perceived as greater than in non-family businesses. Beyond financial repercussions, the emotional toll on family relationships and the potential for generational consequences can be significant.

How can families in business proactively manage the challenges they face?

Proactive management involves education on family dynamics, regular family meetings, and the development of strategies that address both business and family concerns. Creating a harmonious balance requires ongoing efforts to keep the family connected while ensuring the business thrives.

Is it possible for families in business to thrive?

It is possible for families in business to thrive. With the right education, clarity, and conversations, families in business can indeed thrive. Strategic planning, open communication, and a shared vision for family harmony, financial prosperity, and generational continuity form the foundation for successful family businesses. Utilising the skills of a family business advisor can ensure your family business success.

What are the cautionary tales associated with mixing family and business?

Cautionary tales often revolve around what happens in the boardroom spilling over into the living room, derailing both the business and family. Lack of preparation for emotional challenges and insufficient focus on family dynamics can lead to negative consequences.

Why is there a gap in teaching how to balance family and business in educational programs?

Many educational programs primarily focus on traditional business aspects, such as leadership, accounting, law, and economics, neglecting the unique complexities of family dynamics within a business context. Bridging this gap requires a holistic approach to business education.

Can the challenges of mixing love and money be overcome?

Yes, proactively managing the ‘family’ part of the family business is key to overcoming the challenges of mixing love and money. This involves open communication, strategic planning, and addressing emotional issues before they escalate.

How can families in business ensure a positive legacy for generations to come?

Creating a positive legacy involves aligning family members around shared values and a vision for financial prosperity and generational continuity. Proactive management, continuous adaptation, and a commitment to open communication contribute to a lasting and positive family business legacy.

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