The Family Constitution
A Family Constitution might sound terribly formal, but it is an important part of the life of every enterprising family. An increasing number of families - those who like to plan for their future rather than leave matters to chance are supplementing their unwritten constitution (the way we do things as a family) with a bit more formality and organisation. A written Family Constitution helps them to move forward and achieve what they want, both as a family and as individuals. The process of creating the Constitution, as well as the final result, helps the family to reach important decisions, sometimes on sensitive issues, which, if left unresolved, can too easily result in conflict. The paper below gives some pointers on creating a Family Constitution.
Women in Family Enterprises: A Round Table Discussion
Reccently FBS invited five women from enterprising families to meet us and discuss issues relating to the roles of Women in Family Enterprises; a topic that is relevant to all, given that we don\'t know of any enterprising family made up entirely of men! The resulting paper is required reading for all working with family enterprises.
Passing the Baton
This paper examines comments from both seniors and the next generation family members from a number of family businesses and makes recommendations to help smooth transitions.
Ownership of a family business
This FBS Insight covers some of the key issues that a family needs to consider in relation to ownership of their business. 1. Are we custodians or value-out owners? 2. Should ownership be restricted to bloodline owners or include spouses? 3. Working owners and non-working owners. 4. Consolidating ownership in branches. 5. The use of trusts. 6. Dividend policy. 7. Decisions making by owners.
Direction and Management and Bottom-Line Performance
In the pursuit of prosperity, and for some, survival, it is hard to exaggerate the impact of Direction and Management on bottom line performance. With commercial demands increasing at staggering pace, and the economy and the market often getting the best sound bites when explaining results, it is vital to empower management as a force for positive bottom-line impact which: Denies the economy and market undue control Isolates the true and proportionate causes of shortfall Distinguishes reasons from theories Rescues the controllable from the inevitable For family businesses juggling both family and business priorities management standards and performance is both a sensitive yet crucial issue, and addressing it requires some ground rules in empathy and objectivity. First, this is often more a matter of role, not competence, until proven otherwise; and so we need to reveal and remove the obstacles to securing management in its proper role and contribution. Secondly, targets and other key objectives are often the constant victims of failing to realise full management potential; and so this standard is really non-negotiable. Unique challenges to securing this benchmark can arise from: the different routes individuals have taken to management including, but not exclusively, entrepreneurial and family businesses; confusing management terminology; assumptions of existing control; management roles diminished by questionable priorities; and even the common misconception that bottom-line performance is the accountants job. Managers also often work under adopted roles without opportunity to understand and embrace accountability for commercial and other key performance. Taking care to merge family support with business support family businesses can greatly benefit from simple strategies, initiatives, and tools to secure performance management. Billy Andrew 0141 222 2820