Family Business – Mails to my Clients – 12 – To a Family Patriarch and Chief of the Family Business – A cautionary note on his ‘Joint Family’…….
Trust you are doing well.
I was extremely happy spending a day with the XPZ Family, and exchanging views on Family Business issues. It was also my pleasure having lunch with you at your very impressive Farm House and Estate.
As part of observations following my first visit, I feel it my duty to make very important ‘recommendations for action’ to promote business performance of your Group Companies, and of the younger generation Family Members In Business, for the sake of harmony, cooperation, peace, and prosperity over the next 25 years. The first part is really some very personal and friendly advice I am giving you as the respected Family Patriarch and Leader, on a very sensitive issue of living as a Joint Family, across generations, and relationships:
1. With a few possible exceptions, in today’s world of increased desire for personal space, and because girls, daughters and daughters-in-law, are more educated, the Joint Family system tends to suppress their natural desire to excel and build a family profile of their liking based on their background, education, and aspirations.
2. Lack of privacy and independence builds up suppressed emotions that threaten family unity and many times come to breaking point.
3. Relationship between husband and wife also tends to be under tension many times because of divided attention and over-all family discipline to be maintained in the constant presence of elders.
4. Whatever sense of unity that is apparent is only because of the presence of the dominant personality of the Patriarch and Leader, and not because of spontaneity in relationships between siblings and cousins.
5. There will be total breakdown in the event of the absence or passing away of the Patriarch and Leader, under such circumstances.
6. All the above issues also tend to affect the way family members interact and cooperate with each other in the day-to-day management of the Family Business, and over time the very existence of the Family Business will be threatened.
7. It is therefore my sincere recommendation that you should plan to keep the family together with a more progressive residential solution that is more productive, and prevalent, in today’s tougher family environment.
8. I am stating all the above because I have clearly noticed, and understood, strong but silent undercurrents within your family members indicating that everything is not normal. There are clear indications that negative vibrations of business dynamics within the daiIy grind of the Family Business flow back to the ‘Joint Family Headquarters’ and directly impact moods and relationships at ‘Home’, across the sub-families. I have consulted to Families in Business for 30 years and recognize symptoms when I see them.
9. Please do not doubt what I have said, and wait till it is too late for you to do the right thing….
Apart from the above, you will need to take some structural and performance related basic and necessary management action as follows:
- Establish current Performance Status of each Group Company using recognized business parameters.
- Based on the above, set Performance Targets for each Group Company for the year 2014-15 as of March 31, 2015.
- Establish for each Group Company an Organization Structure that is clear on responsibilities and accountabilities of Key Managers including Family Members.
- Re-deploy excess Family Members in Business (FMBs) to create transparent, lean, result-oriented Management Teams in each Group Company.
- Establish ‘Clear Management Leadership’ in each Group Company.
- Every Group Company will have a clear and transparent Capital and Expense Budget for each year and concurrent Delivery and Earnings Targets for which each FMB responsible will be answerable you and to the Family Shareholders.
- Establish Financial Discipline across the Group Companies and across FMBs.
- Establish a Professional Development System where FMBs’ deployment and performance progress is reviewed, and Professional Development Plan for each of the concerned FMBs is mapped out in line with the future needs of the Group and of the individual FMB.
The contents of this letter, in the form of my advice and recommendations, are based on just a few of my impressions of the situation in your Family Business, based on our initial meetings.
& Advisor to Family Business
PROMAG Consultancy Services
Apt. 206 Brigade Rathna
42 Ranga Rao Road
Bangalore – 560004 INDIA
Tel. +91-80-26676298/ Cell: 9845271498
Strengthening Family Dynamics for Family Business Growth…….since 1985