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Vision, Conflict and Business

A clear, concise, well communicated, self-affirming vision is a critical component to the creation of an unstoppable family business succession plan.  However, just establishing a vision in this complicated world is not enough because in the business succession realm, this vision involves teamwork. Unfortunately those whom we endear, those whom we love, those whom we depend upon to continue our businesses and those who depend upon us for their careers can complicate our circumstances and the achievement of a succession vision that on a good day has many moving parts and on a bad day can appear mind boggling. In the midst of complications with family, key managers, lenders and vendors succession can become such a hassle that a business owner may want to isolate himself. Unfortunately this isolation is completely counter productive to the achievement of a vision that requires a team effort. Within the realm of business succession planning, the vast majority of these succession problems are cause by vision conflict. Allow me to explain this frustrating predicament and the remedy.

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Sibling Partnerships

Sibling Partnerships: If you are a part of a sibling partnership in business or anticipate being in one in the near future, please understand that your relationship, just like any other relationship, will require a significant amount of effort to make it an effective one. Effective sibling partnerships will not happen by default. Natural behavior is to be competitive, self promoting and self serving. It takes a purposeful, dedicated effort to achieve win/win with siblings and there are many factors that lead to the effectiveness of sibling partnerships. Here are ten fundamental suggestions as to how you can establish and sustain an effective working relationship with one or more siblings:

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Brand Bible?

What should be determined immediately is if "brand bible" is just being used as a cute term for core policies and procedures or do they really mean "Brand Bible."

The concept of using the term brand bible conveys that this document is the foundation or reference for belief, trust and faith. Inherent with the behavior, attitude, attained skills, knowledge and experience that are associated with belief, trust and faith there is the assumption that the business will grow in power, strength and resilience. However, this is faulty logic if there has been no process through which the brand bible has been proven as the source of strength as in Bible. In the absence of a profession of belief and faith by the rank and file employees and managers who are integral to the strength in the mystical powers of branding the use of the term bible is very assumptive. Actually, a safer presumption would be that all those exposed to the brand bible the first time will have doubt or even cynicism. 

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Hold your Tongue to Keep the Peace in a Family Business

In route home from an endeavor to bring a family back from critical mass, I have confirmed again that families who choose to take advantage of family synergy in business must give up some freedoms to download emotions to intimate inactive family members. More succinctly, families who work together all day put the greater family harmony at great risk if they go home at night and emotionally download to spouses and children the acrid details of their daily experiences.

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What's the First Step in Succession Planning?

Succession planning can be an overwhelming thought. There is so much to be done. “I don’t even know what I don’t know.” There are so many potential issues. There are so many opinions. There are so many places where things can go wrong.

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How to Overcome Communication Shipwrecks

Many people believe that conflict is natural and something to be sought after.  So far, January of 2010 has been filled with conflict.  Earthquakes (Haiti), political surprises (Massachusetts, Ben Bernake’s appointment), judicial surprises (Supreme Court and political contributions), and family squabbles.  Most of the family squabbles probably haven’t made the news; but for the people involved in many of them, the damage is every bit as catastrophic.

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