For Family Businesses No Easy Answers…Only Options

For Family Businesses
No Easy Answers…Only Options

Family Ink
Spring/Summer 1997

“Each family business is unique it its makeup, its culture…each has its own vision, goals and Perception success”
      –Fredda Herz-Brown

“There are no pat, easy answers, no real quick-fix solutions…only options,” Dr. Fredda Herz Brown, a family business consultant, told the members of the Family Business Forum during asession at the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at FDU on March 27th.”Eachfamily,” she noted, “is unique in its makeup, its culture…each has its own vision, goals andperception of success…all of which impact the upcoming generation and the future of the familybusiness.You need to learn to deal with the issues,” she said, adding, “I have found that familiesare among the most creative in resolving issues.”

Communication within the family, Brown noted, is extremely important.”Many familybusinesses go down the drain because one spousedoesn’t talk to another.You have anargument, a problem involving your brother and you discuss it with your wife.You later make upwith your brother; after all,he is your brother, but your wife is still angry and may refuse to go tofamily functions,” she said. As family members, youneed to dealwith your emotions, communicate your feelings, anxieties, frustrations and differences. Familial conflict, whenignored, may have a disastrous effect on the business.Family members have to be able toseparate theirpersonal feelings from those relating to the business, she said. More…

Diversity in the Workplace

Democracy in the Workplace
by Dr. Edward Lawler, III
University of Southern California

This call goes out to family business owners, managers and employees:Get involved in each other’s business!Read on and keep two ideas in mind.

One, any employee may have secret talents and ambitions that can help grow your company.
Two, in the increasingly complicated work place, it becomes more and more difficult to judge the worth of a worker.
Democracy in the work place might sound like a lofty ideal based more on ethics than economics, but motivation expert and USC Business professor Ed Lawler has a formula for companies that may translate into results you can take to the bank (And it can help smooth out owner-successor relationships, too).

Total quality management.Creative problem solving groups.Suggestion teams.These are all innovations the publicly-traded family business Motorola Corporation has used to restrict the growth of management layers in the organization.Why? “Supervision costs money.” More…