Too Important to Fire

We brought in our first non-family senior executive to help professionalize and grow the business.  The senior manager performed his job well and was eager to take on more responsibility. Eager to keep him satisfied, and retain him, we continued to give him increased responsibility across other functional areas.

In a few years, we realized that he wasn’t as competent in the newer areas, as he was in his core responsibility for which he had been hired.  It’s easy to fall into the thinking that someone who comes from a larger scale business is an expert in all areas. This proved wrong for us and we found the newer areas under his responsibility were hurting the business.  We stopped adding responsibility and discussed ways to move him back to his core strength expertise area. This caused him to threaten leaving with his management staff, unless he continued to receive increased responsibility and compensation.

We decided to terminate the employee.  But it was too late. This senior manager had assumed so much increased control and responsibility that they had become too important to fire. More…

Turning Sibling Rivalries into a Positive Force for Business Success

Turning Sibling Rivalries into a Positive Force for Business SuccessNortheastern University

Family Business Quarterly

“When sibling relationships are going well, they can be the most wonderful thing in a business. When they are not, they can mean the end of the business.”

That observation by Shari Wyner Narva, a consultant with Genus Resources Inc. of Needham, Massachusetts, wasn’t disputed by any of the sixty or so attendees at a recent session of the Northeastern University Center for Family Business on “How Relatives Relate: Siblings in Business Together.” Narva presided over a panel consisting of two sets of siblings from family businesses: Matthew and Andrew Hayes of Bernett Research Services and John and Brendan McSheffrey of MIJA/Bestek. More…