Perspectives from ISB

People growing up in a family business environment can often develop blind spots. During the recent Smart Business 2015 Family Business Conference, four family business leaders discussed how to address these blind spots. They came up with the following four suggestions:

  1. Seeing the unseen. An external observer or a board of advisors, not involved in the day to day operations, is often helpful in identifying the blind spots.
  2. Dealing with relationships. While managing employees is usually problematic, in family businesses it becomes an emotional problem. Here again, the unofficial advisory board members can help plan the tough conversations.
  3. Planning the succession. Succession planning is often a continual and tough conversation. The effort should be on getting the best players on the team rather than selecting only family members.
  4. Pearls of wisdom. Gaining extensive experience both within and outside the family firm before taking the reins of a company is often helpful.