Dynamic Tension: Or, You’re Standing on My Foot!

Dynamic Tension: UMass
Or, You’re Standing on My Foot!

by Ira Bryck
Director, UMass Family Business Center

The term “dynamic tension” was first developed by early exercise fanatic Jack La Lane, describing how muscles meet resistance with his particular fitness equipment.Rock historians later borrowed the phrase to discuss the partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney; dynamic tension between them was the factor, aside from musical skill, that empowered their success as a team.The catalytic reaction of their different energies and personality styles, that one would imagine could only result in bickering and failure, created a product impossible to predict.But the notion that one works best with a conflict free colleague/clone, is to ignore how the world works to produce something bigger than the sum of the parts.

This is significant in light of the research that highlights that some two thirds of family owned businesses that will be transitioning power to thenext generation (some say half of all family companies within the next decade)–either a parent to children or siblings to cousins–will seriously consider a shared leadership form of governance.We live in a culture that values egalitarian rule–our president is no king, today’s model parent is more coach/mentor than ironclad royalty–it is no wonder that the assumption that a business requires a single leader is being questioned among siblings and cousins in business. More…

The Politics of Trying to Work With Relatives

The Politics of Trying to Work With Relatives

Delaware Business Review
by Howard H. Simon, CPA and Jill R. Lock
Simon Master & Sidlow, P.A.

Relatives working in a family business can help the company flourish if certain considerations are given.By adhering to certain rules and guidelines both the relative and the business have a better opportunity to prosper.

When hiring a relative, certain rules must be set and enforced at the onset.The rules should be stated clearly, communicated honestly and applied fairly to all relatives.

The formation of the guidelines depends upon the family’s philosophy, mission, size, industry and resources available.Those guidelines must be consistent with the family’s values. More…