Communication is a requirement for Family Business success.
Words when spoken out loud can take on the properties of music. Words when used to share a vision, to communicate with the Team, your Company needs rhythm, pitch, volume and timbre. A few weeks back I had the chance to review a piece by an expert of family businesses. He listed five key points to ponder.
- Make Sure the Business Succeeds Many “experts” will want to talk succession plans, but we must make sure the company succeeds. There must be an entity to pass on to the next generations. The adage, “Made it, Spent it, Killed It” does not apply if the business is making it. Many need metrics, organizational development and planning.
- Get Advice Later this year, there are a wide-ranging issues involved in perpetuating a family business, there’s a lot of truth to the adage “no one is as smart as all of us.” We all are good at working in our businesses, but business continuation advisors offer a way for us to work on our businesses. I’ve never heard a business owner lament, “I wish I’d just handled this myself!”
- Get Buy-in Communication with the Family is a key. Discourse not dictation is required. Working with a Family Business, watching, listening to the next generation over five years of Family meetings; the evolution, the rhythm, pitch and timbre of the questions grew exponentially. Getting support helps tune the idea
- Commit Financial Resources –A key step in any plan is the assignment of resources and a budget.
- Execute You must follow-through. Often times we make mistakes, do you know that the Space Shuttle is only on course 10% of the time! 90% is spent adjusting, tweaking and maneuvering. Do not hesitate, take small steps but execute the plan.
Two final thoughts to consider, the selection, development and leadership of First Round Capital; this is not venture, angel, debit to equity or seed; it’s your entry level hires! This is the space where considerable work gets done. This is the space that contacts the customer, is the first interaction and often satisfaction is served. ‘First impressions are lasting impressions’, and although sometimes misleading, ‘research shows that in many situations, our impressions of other people can be quite accurate’.
It takes just one-tenth of a second for us to judge someone and make our first impression. In Family Firms is the first round physical capital providing the right first impression? Another point to ponder in Family Business succession Planning is the passing of authority, decision making. This process starts with steps and permitting others to lead and manage pieces and parts. A recent CEO transition offers a great model; the incoming leader asked three questions to the founder owner: “How do you want to handle decision-making? What decisions would you like to make, and what decisions should I be making?” The owner responded: “That’s easy. It’s your ball – you run with it.”
Family Business success is based on communication. Words when spoken out loud can take on the properties of music. Words when used to share a vision, to communicate with the Team, your Company needs rhythm, pitch, volume and timbre.
We all need to be better communicators!