When I started the podcast in July 2017, I had 50 episodes planned, I was going to be releasing every week and then see where I got to. 3 and a half years later I have made it to episode 100!
In this episode I reflect on some of the lessons I have taken from the interviews I have completed with some of the world’s leading experts on Family Business.
In summary these are:
- Effective communication is essential, this may seem an obvious statement but in particular the role that listening plays in communication within a family business is key. In episode 19 of the show I spoke with Max Gosselin about the valuable lessons he learnt through listening.
- Governance is a BIG topic and whilst it can be really useful as a tool to help with communication, it should also be something that is approached with care to ensure that it is relevant.
- Change is constant. We are living in a world that doesn’t stop changing, and this is true of your family business too. Treating things like a succession plan as an event rather than as a transition can create false barriers. Appreciating that it is a transition could lead to better planning and management of that transition.
- There is a need for coherency when it comes to advice to family owned businesses. The role of ‘most trusted adviser’ is obsolete in my view. It is old fashioned and doesn’t adequately serve the needs of Family Businesses. As a family business you should be demanding collaboration and coherency from your professional advisers, and if you are an adviser to family businesses, collaboration should be top of your list. I appreciate that this may sound a bit preachy and patronising. I know service like this exists, I collaborate myself with brilliant lawyers and accountants, but I also see that it is not happening and I think this needs to be addressed!
- Success is not defined by succession. I could write a whole blog on this (and I will) but there seems to be an obsession with defining the success for a family business by its ability to be passed down from generation to generation. When this is what is wanted, everything should be done to help facilitate this. However, when this is not what everyone wants, the discussion should focus on how best to achieve an alternative. This may mean changes in ownership structure, or viewing the business in a different way but life is not a rehearsal and we should all be aiming to live a fulfilled life, whether that is within the family business or not.
I would love to hear from you if there are topics that you want covered that haven’t been yet and as ever if you are looking for support from a family business specialist I am here to help.