Spotlight On: Disruptions to the Family Business
Surviving the Four Common Disruptions to Family Business Continuity
New People in the Family
How you treat new family members, especially spouses, as they enter will have long-lasting implications on family business continuity. We provide resources that offer guidance and advice for bringing individuals from outside the family into the business, and how to navigate the different dynamic it creates.
How can in-laws work effectively and successfully in their spouse’s family business?
Inequality is inevitable in business families. You can’t avoid it, but you can manage it. Inequalities can arise from different positions within the family business, relationship dynamics between family members, and succession planning and discussions. These issues are common, and navigable.
Behavioral Health Issues
Behavioral health issues are common in all families, and can have a big impact on business families. Our collection of resources can help guide you through family business ownership when the often complex dynamics of behavioral health issues are present.
Navigating behavioral health issues can be especially tricky for business families.
Death in the Family
Proper family business estate planning and an emergency succession plan are critical for reducing the impact of a death on your family business (and business family). We have a multitude of resources to help you develop an estate and succession plan so you will be prepared and are able to successfully navigate these difficult circumstances.
With some preparation and creative action, family businesses can rebound quickly in less-than-ideal circumstances.
How to Stabilize After a Disruption
Once you survive a disruption within the family business, it’s not the end of the story. Stabilizing after a disruption is just as important as surviving one – if not more. So how do you get things back on track? Our resources provide clear guidance on moving forward following a disruption to the family business so you can enjoy continued stability and success.
Disruptions Thought Leaders
There’s nothing wrong with your family if you’re struggling with any of these challenges. Rather than assigning blame, focus on how to support each other, as well as what you can learn for the inevitable next time you experience a disruption.
Nick Di Loreto
Disruptions are inevitable both in life and in family business. But how you prepare for those disruptions and the decisions you make in the face of them can fundamentally shape or reshape your family and your business.
The source of disruptions to your business family aren’t always one-time event. Sometimes a disruption can have a long tail. But once you understand what’s triggered it, you can begin to course correct.
New spouses can play a significant role in the fate of your business family. Find ways to engage them and leverage the unique experiences they bring. You don’t want them to feel like outsiders.
Senior Research Fellow
In an uncertain, volatile world, you can’t anticipate what will happen or when. But there are two things you can do: create a structure and family mindset that is open, flexible and responsive to change, and put in place processes for managing the most likely disruptions.
Business families face tough decisions together. Disruptions often challenge your status quo and require a new set of decisions.
Judy Lin Walsh
It’s inevitable that inequality will develop among business families over time. But what’s not inevitable is how you respond. You can choose to be upset or you can choose to grow.
Marion McCollom Hampton
Senior Research Fellow
In the best cases, people marrying in to a family business bring that outside culture of their own family, and that makes the business family stronger.
We’ve seen many leaders for whom being an engaged shareholder is a better fit than a day-to-day manager, and vice versa. Find you own path, and remember: it is possible to respect and honor the family legacy and seek personal fulfillment at the same time.
Transition and succession are a process, not an event. So, use time in your favor: the sooner you start thinking about it and making intentional choices, the easier the eventual transition will be.