A hornets’ nest or even a beehive from afar appears to buzz with activity. It’s quite interesting to watch nature in action, which ironically is very similar to families and working in a family business. There are roles each individual plays and a set of standard operating procedures that allow the hive to run smoothly and efficiently. When done in unison and as expected, the hive buzzes with focus and activity, not bothering anyone outside the hive. These same behaviors exist in the family business.
Whether you are family in the business or you work in a family business, there is a hierarchy that sets the tone and goals for the company, and then the worker bees that help achieve them. However, just like in the beehive if one strays or does not work or live up to expectations, things can get messy.
When working in a family business there are certain topics that are not discussed and shut behind the big red door – DON’T TOUCH! The big red door creates a dysfunctional functional norm for everyone who works in the company. And, if you are family in the business, it exacerbates drama at business meetings and family holidays.
Without leveraging the tools available, the hive will be blown to its side, creating hysteria and infighting. However, active problem solving and leveraging tools readily available can keep the hive calm, productive, harmonious, and even allow everyone to grow closer together