blames the one before
and all of their frustrations.
The Gettysburg address has 286 words, the Ten Commandments have 179 words, last week’s Internal Revenue Bulletin to explain one part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was 270 pages and over 100,000 words.
Family Business is faced with many issues, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare” is one. Family businesses deal with the employment of children, grandchildren and cousins.
Many cultures have an experience with family businesses, Asians Family Businesses are an interesting model. While Asian Americans “only” make up about 5% of the U.S.’s population they are one of the fastest growing racial/ethnic groups (in terms of percentage increase) in the U.S. The Asian American community has received a lot of scrutiny over the years but in many ways, still remains misunderstood.
Some firms have established rules, systems, processes … hurdles a family member must clear prior to joining the family business. A few common rules include a level of education, work outside the family business, with at least one promotion, cannot join the family business at any level higher than current job and finally they cannot report to another family member.
Working with a number of Family firms as an outside advisor, our Team has observed the possible need for some QOE, work. QOE is an acronym for the Quality of Event. In quality systems there are a number of events. The vital, critical questions are is it productive of good or the opposite, what sort is its effect in either direction, is it achieving the desired results?
There are significant differences between having a process and following it. Some Family businesses give lip service to the plans. One of our team, whose practice is largely with Asian Family Businesses, noted a few critical cultural differences. Many family businesses require their next generations to attend college; others require them graduate with honors. This would be viewed a as higher quality event.
A great suggestion by a Wayne Rogers was, “The most important thing is that the family company has entry rules and that they be in writing. The family can make clear in Family Council meetings or Board of Directors meetings that these entry rules exist, they will be enforced fairly and equitably, and that there will be no exceptions. Informality abounds in family businesses, and sometimes it is that very informality which causes dissension and upheaval in the family. Written entry rules for your family company can go a long ways towards eliminating some of the fuel that creates the fire of conflict.”
Outside advisors, a family council, or Board of Directors are all challenged by will of the Leader. Being fair and equitable, the Leader of a family business is frequently tested, enforce the policy or not. The leading generation needs to lead, to implement and compel compliance with the rules. Family Business experts label generations as “Made it, Spent It and killed it”. The Family Leaders need to focus, permit the policies to be positive talent management policies, not insincere verbiage.