Setting Family Values
For family business, one the things that is wonderful is when the family values that are present in the home, that were present when the children were raised or when all the other relatives were involved, (create a result) such that there is a common sense of common value around things like hard work, honest, earned rewards (among family members). When values of that kind are embedded in the family dynamics, it’s much easier to align commitments with family members (in the family business setting) around those values because they (these values) have been demonstrated throughout their life, and they (the family members exposed to this set of positive values demonstrated in the home life) have a natural respect for the family members that have demonstrated those positive values. So those values (can be seamlessly transferred and) are very effective in having the business be successful.
Businesses that operate with integrity and honesty and fairness, a sense of earned rewards, a sense of hard work to accomplish results – all of those things can then be aligned (with all company team members). And so, conversely, if you have things like an unfair sense of how things operate (are operating around you in the business) – you know a kind of sketchy sense of consistency regarding either financial matters or other matters that are involved – or you (family members in the business) have a sense of entitlement to rewards when they don’t earn them – when just because you are a family member that you deserve to get lavish treatment with unearned rewards.
If that (type of entitlement) is present, that becomes more complicated and so the job (of strengthening the family business) becomes one of trying to create a common commitment to a set of values that will really work. – so, that then becomes a work that needs to be done (and specifically done in a customized way for that unique company and that unique group of individual family and non-family team members).
Core Values Matter
So I think that values, from my 30 plus years experience with businesses of all shapes and sizes, are at the core of business success and particularly important in family businesses, so that there can be an alignment of family members and non-family members around common values. Family Businesses that can align family and non-family team members around a solid core of positive value can become stronger, more resilient and more successful and in command of their destiny. It is often necessary for family businesses to need the support of objective, unrelated outside advisors/consultants to help sort through what is working and what is not working, to clarify values that will work, and to help create the alignment among all team members.