Family, It’s Complicated: Partners, Children, and the Bottom Line
“You Are like Family” is a phrase many often say to friends. Over time and connectivity, the emotional ties with neighbors, teammates and colleagues grow to feel like family. Bring this dynamic to your business, and the size and complexity of your family begins to grow exponentially. As a result, family dynamics can become quite complex.
Thru acquisition, mergers, stock recognition plan, equity buy-in, or at the inception of the business, you are a or you have minority partners in the business. Amongst partners, there are very simple, common expectations that, surprisingly, can be misconstrued. First–and foremost–is simply “We are in this to make money, period.” Second is, your partner provides something you consider important to the overall success of the organization.
Simple, right? Well, there is at least one season of life that complicates these two simple assumptions: the coming of age of children, whether yours or your partners’.
Having worked with several parents, there is a natural inclination to view the business as an opportunity to help launch their children into the world to get them on their way or as a long-term career. It is in this moment that at least one partner has shifted away from the first simple expectation because now you are no longer in business “just to make money.” Instead, the business has become a support system or a business they view as multi-generational in the future
Many young adults today have no idea what they want as a career, and there is a natural tendency by parents to keep the opportunity open should the children decide to commit someday. This has been known to affect hiring decisions, delaying the fulfillment of vital management roles within the organization in the hopes that one day next-gen will want to join the business. Sounds crazy, but it’s true!
Clarifying expectations of the next generation, whether or not they are in the business, is a critical step to maintaining a lasting partnership. If you’re thinking that you have the time and it’s not a problem right now, then now is the time to address it. Overcoming partnership issues regarding family after the cards are on the table can be like trying to heard squirrels.
Read the article and then reach out us to get some insights on your own situation. A few moments with us will provide you insight and clarity for your next steps forward. Contact Us
Family Dynamics and Family Governance
Family and Business alignment is hard to find when business issues liven up family dynamics.
However; with proper process, governance policies, and mutual respect built over time, a Family Business can thrive through multiple generations. Click the following links for more drill-down resources on Family Dynamics and Family Governance.