The Group Throne

The Group Throne
by Ira Bryck

Two brothers listened intently to the compelling words of their dear, departing father. “You both worked very hard in our family business. You did your jobs well and you each struggled to show me how you could lead this company one day. Sorry, but I just couldn’t pick one of you above the other. Finally, I’ve made my decision. I want you to both be presidents…Co- Presidents. But listen up: if and when you can’t agree, when you’re in absolute deadlock, call my brother Michael in California. I know you never liked him, but he’s a smart guy. He’ll listen to both sides, and then decide.

No surprise that these two leaders strove to cooperate ceaselessly, never wanting to gamble on the uncertain pronouncements of Uncle Mike.

It is quite a challenge to run any business. What makes a family business even more intense is that your business partners have notions about you (and you about them) formed in the Wonder Years, that just won’t quit. They can’t see how you’ve grown…and maybe you haven’t…because of the box they’ve placed you in. More…

Connecting and Separating Family and Business (Part I)

Connecting and Separating
Family and Business (Part I)

by Douglas G. Flemons, Ph.D. and Patricia M. Cole,Ph.D.
Nova Southeastern University

When members of a family business experience difficulties, they may hire a consultant to make recommendations for change. The consultant’s suggestions will, of course, reflect the assumptions he or she makes about the sorts of unique challenges and conundrums faced by the clients,and the way in which such difficulties can be most effectively addressed.

A variety of theoretical overlays have been proposed for making sense of the rich complexities faced by members in family businesses and for how to solve the problems that can arise. Each orientation focuses the consultant’s attention in a particular direction, drawing distinctions which bring into existence particular abstractions–such as “role-sets”or “triangulation”–and render invisible (out of mind) that for which there is no name. What can be seen in, and understood about a situation determines the scope and the nature of the consultant’s suggestions. More…