Tolerance of a chronic or recurring problem often means that there are conflicting interests within the company’s leadership. For example, when a relative does not carry his/her weight in a family owned business, at least one person in the family views the primary purpose of the business as providing income for relatives regardless of their contribution. Another family member may think that employees should all do their part and earn the income paid to them. Not resolving the matter over a long period of time means that both individuals value not upsetting family members over the business. Now there is an internally created plateau!
Having a family council helps companies facing this kind of situation. What is the philosophy of the family? What is the purpose of the business? Who gets to make the important ethical decisions?
I have seen family councils change the rules regarding the salaries paid to relatives. One company started to pay relatives at the same pay scale they use for non relatives… and job performance was considered when raises and bonuses were considered. If they wanted to make sure that a particular family member had more money, the family trust could be utilized. But the business wasn’t burdened with unfair compensation.
I have seen family councils establish separate businesses. Sometimes the patriarch must announce his successor so everyone knows who now has authority. I’ve seen some families bring in psychologists or family therapists to help them move beyond the fear of “upsetting” one another… because they did not want behavioral problems to stunt the growth of their business.
There are other versions of tolerating significant problems too long. Frankly, it’s been rewarding to see more women business owners attending seminars like “Accounting for Non Accountants” so they can move past that self imposed plateau.
Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST®. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions. Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieving accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search. 2012 is Ambler’s 8th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at www.GrowthStrategistShow.com. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.