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Enriching Your Live Archive
Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

Enriching Your Life!

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Archive - Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

Survival and Effectivness

Friday, February 01, 2002


ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:

  • Will your family business survive the death of its founder?
  • Creating an effective team

WILL YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS SURVIVE THE DEATH OF ITS FOUNDER?

Family business owners are notoriously poor at planning for the future of their businesses. They literally act as if the founder will never die. They don’t think about the possibility even when that person is in his 70’s or 80’s. As a result, most family firms don’t live beyond the first generation.

Death is not an easy subject to talk about; nor is retirement, especially for rugged individualists and entrepreneurs or their families. But it is a subject that needs to be addressed by all members of a family firm. Is the business merely a reflection of the founder? Is it his personal property? What part do other family member play, shareholders and stakeholders alike? Who will run the business after the founder steps down? When will the founder step down?

Answering these questions and others leads to the development of what is known as a “succession plan.” Even though it is tough to plan ahead to the day when you are no longer running the business you founded, it can be exciting and rewarding to know that your creation will live on and prosper under the guidance of a trusted family member. Equally rewarding is knowing that you have provided for your family. To learn more on how to plan for your business’ future please read my latest “Families In Business” article: INSERT HOTLINK

As a Family/Business Consultant I can help your family business begin developing a succession plan. Please give my office a call at (360) 256-0448 or (503) 222-6678.

CREATING AN EFFECTIVE TEAM

Do you have an effective team working for you? What are some of the characteristics of a good team?

  1. Clear Purpose- The mission, goal or task of the team is well defined and accepted by all team members. This is an action plan.
  2. Informality- The climate tends to be informal, comfortable, and relaxed with no obvious tensions or signs of boredom.
  3. Participation- There is a lot of discussion, and everyone is encouraged to participate.
  4. Listening- Team members use effective listening techniques such as questioning, paraphrasing, and summarizing to get out ideas.
  5. Civilized Disagreement- When there is disagreement, the team is comfortable with this and show no signs of avoiding, smoothing over, or suppressing conflict.
  6. Consensus Decisions- For important decisions, the goal is substantial but not necessarily unanimous agreement through open discussion of everyone's ideas, avoiding formal voting, or easy compromises.
  7. Open Communication- Team members feel free to express their feelings on the tasks as well as on the group's operation. There aren’t any hidden agendas. Communication also takes place outside of meetings.
  8. Clear Roles and Work Assignments- There are clear expectations about the roles played by each team member. Clear assignments are made, accepted, and carried out. Work is fairly distributed among team members.
  9. Shared Leadership- While the team has a formal leader, leadership functions shift from time to time depending on the circumstances, the needs of the group, and the skills of the members. The formal leader models appropriate leadership behavior.
  10. External Relations- The team spends time developing and maintaining key outside relationships, mobilizing resources.Style Diversity- The team has a broad spectrum of team-player types, including members who emphasize attention to task, goal setting, focus on process, and question how the team is functioning.
  11. Self-Assessment- The team regularly stops to examine how well it is functioning and what may be interfering with its effectiveness.

Information taken from "Supervisory Management: The Art of Empowering and Developing People" Mosley, Donald C, Megginson, Leon C. and Pietri, Paul H., South-Western College Publishing, 2001, page(s) 289-291.

I enjoy getting feedback from readers about this newsletter. Please let me know if you’ve found particular topics we’ve shared to be of help or interest. You can also feel free to recommend topics for future newsletters. I look forward to your input – email me at news@kmarshack.com.

Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. For more information on how entrepreneurial couples can make it work at work and at home go to my web site www.entrepreneurialcouples.com. You’ll find exercises, a library of family business articles, on-line consultation and much more. To contact my office call (360) 256-0448 or (503) 222-6678 or email info@kmarshack.com.