Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Do family businesses really run like this?

North Carolina family-business consultant James Lea obviously had something to get out of his system. In a recent column I found at OfficeDepot.com, he lists several ways that family business clients dodge, ignore and otherwise run away from key issues.

Read his opening paragraph carefully:
“One of the ways I assist family owned companies is by helping them to identify, understand and resolve issues that get in the way of sound business decision making. And one of the best ways to do that is to talk through those issues in order to reach a conclusion and get on with business, something that a lot of families are pretty good at not doing.”

Funny stuff. Here’s an example:
Lea says some families in business resist dealing with matters of substance is by "preserving ancient ruins." Here’s how that works. (JL is Lea, trying to settle a family dispute…)

JL: "I have the feeling there's a background issue that's keeping us from reaching closure here. Is there some tension between you two sisters that we should deal with?"
Martha: "No. Absolutely not. Nothing."
Susan (glancing at Martha): "Well, there was that little falling out in 1983 over which one of us would inherit Mother's ring. Now that you mention it, we've had a hard time agreeing on anything since then."
Martha: "That was so long ago I don't remember a thing about it, so we don't need to bring it up now. But I'm still not willing to sign that buy-sell agreement with you. And by the way, it wasn't a ring, it was an opal pendant with eight diamond chips on an Italian 18-carat gold necklace."
You can read the whole article here.
For those who want more, that page also links to other recent articles by Lea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hello, wishing you a very Happy Valentines Day