Tag Archives: Family Business Growth

Family Business – Mails to my Clients -10 – To a Family in (Serious) conflict: Performance Self-Appraisal-cum-Cost Benefit Analysis of waging a ‘Family War’…..

Family Business – Mails  to my Clients -10 – To a Family in (Serious) conflict:   Performance Self-Appraisal-cum-Cost Benefit Analysis of waging a ‘Family War’…..

Dear Friends,

Just a thought about a Performance Self-Appraisal-cum-Cost Benefit Analysis of waging a ‘Family War’…..after One Year, without a solution in sight…..

1. Peace of Mind: Are you on the Plus side now? Is it worse? If it is the same, what was the point?

2. Wealth: Increased? Decreased? Same? What was the point?

3. Lawyers’/ Share Brokers’/ Advisors’/ Fees/ Expenses: Loss or Gain? If Loss, what was the point?

4. Relationships: Better/ Worse/ ‘As was’: If Worse, what have you gained?

5. Solution: Reached/ Not Reached: If not yet reached, what was/ is the Expensive Time & Money War all about?

6. After all the damage, in terms of expenses and loss or stagnation in ‘Peace of Mind’, with a Solution still evasive, what has the ‘War’ achieved, for any generation, present and future?

I am nobody to send answers to, but please do make a Self-Appraisal for yourself, and see what you score out of 10: Is there a ‘Plus’ at the end of the “War’ Balance Sheet that has also promoted ‘Peace of Mind’? What use is a Victory without ‘Peace of Mind’?? What use is a Victory without gain?

If nobody has a ‘Plus’ at the end of the ‘War’ Balance Sheet, is there hope of changing tracks and finding an alternate route to your destination that will also increase ‘Peace of Mind’, reduce collateral expenses/ damage, and result in a solution that brings relief to everyone?

Is it a problem of who will speak the truth first? Is seeking a Settlement with Grace such a bad thing???

With regards,

Raju Swamy                                       
Founder
& Advisor to Family Business
PROMAG Consultancy Services

Apt. 206 Brigade Rathna
42 Ranga Rao Road
Shankarapuram
Bangalore – 560004 INDIA
Tel. +91-80-26676298/ Cell: 9845271498
Email:
rajupromag@hotmail.com
www.promagconsult.in
www.familybusinessadvice.wordpress.com   (Blogsite)
Strengthening Family Dynamics for Family Business Growth…….since 1985

 

Family Business: Professional Employee Core Specs change with Business Competitiveness….( Raju Swamy/ PROMAG/ 1991/ Revised 2013)

Family Business: Professional Employee Core Specs change with Business Competitiveness….( Raju Swamy/ PROMAG/ 1991/ Revised 2013)

1. Traditional: “Landlord”

1.1. Authority (“Ownership”)

1.2. Loyalty + Subservience + Accountability without authority

2. Traditional: Business: Monopoly/ No Competition

2.1. Seniority + Loyalty + Authority

2.2. ‘Subservience’ minimized with emphasis on ‘Loyalty’

3. Traditional: Monopoly/ Some Competition

3.1. Seniority + Loyalty + Competence + Authority

3.2. ‘Competence’ becomes a necessary add-on….

4. Emerging: Monopolistic/ Significant Competition / Pricing + Profit Pressures

4.1. Seniority + Loyalty + Competence + Accountability + Authority

4.2. Accountability becomes indispensable…..even while supporting ‘Seniority’ and ‘Loyalty’….

5. Emerging: Free Market/ Intense Competition / Cost + Pricing + Profit Pressures/ Growth/ Viability/ Scaling Economics / HR Challenges

5.1. Commitment + Competence + Accountability + Authority

5.2. Competence + Accountability + Authority (Desperate ‘no choice’ situation)

5.3. Commitment replaces ‘Seniority + Loyalty’……in current practices towards ‘Professionalization’……

Raju Swamy                                       
Founder
& Advisor to Family Business
PROMAG Consultancy Services

Apt. 206 Brigade Rathna
42 Ranga Rao Road
Shankarapuram
Bangalore – 560004 INDIA
Tel. +91-80-26676298/ Cell: 9845271498
Email:
rajupromag@hotmail.com
www.promagconsult.in
www.familybusinessadvice.wordpress.com   (Blogsite)
Strengthening Family Dynamics for Family Business Growth…….since 1985

 

 

Family Business – Mails to my clients – 9 – The Logic of Business is to Maximize Profit….Within a defined ‘Value’–based Operating System…..

Family Business – Mails to my clients – 9 – The Logic of Business is to Maximize Profit….Within a defined ‘Value’–based Operating System…..

The ‘Values’, that a Family in Business, with a history and heritage to be proud of, must continue to understand and to observe:

We have to make a success of our business, in perpetuity, while enforcing and observing the following beliefs, in Action:

  1. We will not shortchange our Customers.
  2. We will not shortchange our Suppliers.
  3. We will not shortchange our Employees.
  4. We will not shortchange our Shareholders.
  5. We will not shortchange our Family.
  6. We will not shortchange our Country.

When we make a loss, we shortchange everybody. And, if we think we are helpless, we are not ‘in Business’….We do not deserve to be in Business, any more….

 

Raju Swamy                                       
Founder
& Advisor to Family Business
PROMAG Consultancy Services

Apt. 206 Brigade Rathna
42 Ranga Rao Road
Shankarapuram
Bangalore – 560004 INDIA
Tel. +91-80-26676298/ Cell: 9845271498
Email:
rajupromag@hotmail.com
www.promagconsult.in
www.familybusinessadvice.wordpress.com   (Blogsite)
Strengthening Family Dynamics for Family Business Growth…….since 1985

 

Family Business – Letters to my clients – 8 – A Moment of Truth…. SWOT Analysis of a 120 years old Family Business currently managed by the 4th Generation…..

A Moment of Truth…. SWOT Analysis of a 120 years old Family Business currently managed by the 4th Generation…..

Facing a Moment of Truth today, can fuel the Future with new aspirations and competitive energy….and consequent ongoing positives for the present and future generations of the ABC Group Families…

SWOT Analysis

Strengths:

  1. Foundation of  strong Inherited Personal/ Family Financial Security
  2. Internal Integrity
  3. Absence of Conflict
  4. Conservative, Non-ostentatious, Paternal Business Outlook
  5. ‘Running’ Businesses with opportunity and leverage to grow….
  6. Resources to support change…..
  7. Age Potential of the younger generation….

Weaknesses:

  1. Absence of Greed is Strength, but, Absence of Aspiration is a Weakness.
  2. Vision……..Where do we want to go…..for what……when…..why….
  3. Education/ Training…..Inadequate in the 4th Generation by current standards. While the next       Generation must get the best education in the World, to be able to manage Business….the Current Generation must make it up through World-class Entrepreneurial Programs, like in Harvard and Kellogg and IMD….To be competitive strategic thinkers, and also to be able to hire and manage highly qualified Professional Associates/Employees external to the Family.
  4. Competitive Entrepreneurial Energy and Motivation.
  5. Dependence on ‘Fait Accompli’ and Acceptance of Status Quo….lack of Result-orientation
  6. Work as a Ritual and not as a Mission to Achieve……No Goals…..Little Initiative….
  7. Approach to Business as a ‘Benevolent, Secure Landlord with a 9-to-5 job….’
  8. Very Old-fashioned paternalistic concern for people…..
  9. Total absence of Strategic Thinking…..
  10. Away from the business mainstream network, in India and abroad…
  11. S l o w…..Disinterested……Lost….
  12. Absence of a ‘Cash Cow’…..Group Company ’XYL’ could still be a possibility with the right strategy….
  13. Lack of Interest/ Concern for Brand Building……..
  14. Marketing
  15. Excessive Dependence on Single Sector Distribution…….
  16. Accountability

Opportunities:

  1. Infinite….with your resources….
  2. You have to look for them……they won’t come to you….
  3. You have to look at the ‘World’ as your market…..
  4. Create Time for ‘Opportunity’, not for ‘Work’….there will be people who will work for you….

Threats:

  1. Falling Business Growth erodes both wealth and confidence.
  2. Stagnation breeds conflict, breeds distrust….
  3. Conflict tends to multiply rapidly, with and without reason…
  4. Negative Emotions overtake reason, prevent damage control….Everyone loses, now and into the future…..
  5. Time runs out, on you, when action is scarce, and you do not know where you are going….

Wake up, for the World is yours, if you want it…..your forefathers gave you a head start, and you have no excuse to falter….And, you have nothing to lose when you do well….Growth perpetuates, Stagnation kills……

Many thanks for your understanding…..

Family Business – Letters to my Clients – 7 – Keep employees out of your conflict zone…..

Raju Swamy: June 12, 2012

Family Business: Letters to my Clients: Keep employees out of your conflict  zone:

In a Family Business, it takes very little to ignite a fire…….more so when theFamily Business Environment is undergoing Conflict, with consequential Trust Deficit, and again the consequential proneness to conveniently believe, or think, theworst, in the face of business challenges.

When an Organization becomes a ‘matchbox’, the Employees become ‘matchsticks’! The majority of Employees are good human beings primarily pursuing their livelihood and in the process trying to meet their aspirations and responsibilities. Like in any cross-section of society there are also those who are happiest keeping others unhappy. In a Family Business, Conflict and Misunderstanding are fodder for such employees to thrive. What can be the causes:

1. Lack of Unity in Leadership.

2. Developing a ‘my man’ ‘your man’ identity for various employees.

3. Discussing Family Business issues in front of employees, passing remarks, openly blaming other Family colleagues, implying wrong practices, and generally spreading uneasiness and insecurity within the organization, even while multiplying the internal problems of the Family Business.

4. In such a situation, certain types of employees become ‘conduits’ for carrying tales, spreading rumours, exploiting a Family Member’s frustration or anger through flattery, and generally making themselves ‘important’, and secure. Unfortunately,such type of employees are normally those whose professional incompetence shows up often, and therefore the need to cover up through negative action.

5. Many times, disgruntled employees with feelings of unfair treatment may also be the cause.

6. And there are also employees exposed to a Family Business’s possible unethical dealings, who will exploit the situation.

7. There are even some employees who are so used to surviving and actually doing well in a Family Conflict Situation that they actually feel insecure about any imminent positive change. There was this great Hollywood film a few years ago, ‘The One That Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’: There is a mental hospital administered by a strong Matron, over many years. She has been part of this mental hospital for so long that any ‘change’ makes her insecure. And one day there is a new patient (Jack Nicholson) who has the will to fight his way out of his condition and begins to show signs of improvement. To the Matron, this is a threat to her position, and security. What will happen if her mad inmates become normal? She will lose her ‘power’….for she enjoys ‘power’ only so long as her inmates are ‘mad’…..she gets obsessed with this threat to her ‘status quo’ and does everything in her power to sabotage the new inmate’s efforts, and succeeds. As I stated earlier, there could be similar ‘Loyal, long-serving, hard-working, up-from-the-ranks but insecure’ employees who may find security in a conflict or ‘status-quo’ situation in a Family Business.

7. It is important for the Family Business Members to be level-headed and be determined to stick together when significant changes are taking place, and results appear to be positive.

 Please ensure togetherness, do not make unguarded loose statements, do not  mis-interpret each other’s views, spend enough time together to be on the same wavelength, be focused on Success……and on the well-being of the Family Business, and the Families depending on you, both within the Family and with the good employees who work for you……..for it takes very little to ignite a fire in the Family Business…

Raju Swamy                                       
Founder
& Advisor to Family Business
PROMAG Consultancy Services

Apt. 206 Brigade Rathna
42 Ranga Rao Road
Shankarapuram
Bangalore – 560004 INDIA
Tel. +91-80-26676298/ Cell: 9845271498
Email:
rajupromag@hotmail.com
www.promagconsult.in
www.familybusinessadvice.wordpress.com   (Blogsite)
Strengthening Family Dynamics for Family Business Growth…….since 1985

 

 

Family Business – Tensions and Disharmony rise proportionately with rise in Uncertainty and Stagnation…

Family Business:  Tensions and Disharmony rise proportionately

with rise in Uncertainty and Stagnation…A True Story

 (Raju Swamy: September 14, 2009)

 There were eight people in an elevator of a well-known multi-storied commercial building of again a well-known city. These eight people worked for different organizations but were familiar to each other because the daily routine of morning entry and evening exit was almost the same, every day. Not necessarily together in the same elevator.

On a normal end-of-a-busy-day evening, between Floors 13 and 14, the elevator stopped. Elevator stopping in-between floors had happened before, but for a few seconds only, and not very often. So not really a problem: it was 5.43 pm. At 5.43, the Elevator Group, as we will now identify them, was a reasonably happy lot. End of a normal stressful work day, and hopefully, the beginning of a de-stressing evening and night before another normal stressful tomorrow. They were quiet, and expectant.

At 5.45, the elevator had not moved. The alarm switch was pressed. Mobiles did not work in the elevator. The Elevator Group now spontaneously reacted with mutual hope and encouragement: “these things happen, you know. I was stuck like this last year and……we came out….there had been a minor short circuit which had been set right…etc.”

It was now 5.48. There had been no response to their pressing the alarm button. No re-assuring noises outside. Fortunately, the elevator light was on. Still an atmosphere of mutual hope, but fidgety.

At 5.51, the first signs of enquiring restlessness: “what was wrong….never happened for this long….,”etc.

At 5.52, a Leader of the Elevator Group emerged, from among the eight. Cheerful, bubbling, comforting, experienced, knowledgeable, definite….made everybody feel that the situation was absolutely normal in such a circumstance. Yes, a little discomfort, but not to worry. Motivated some small chat, smiles, and even laughter.

The minutes now seemed to get longer.

At 5.58, the Leader was looked up to expectantly for an answer. He had none. In fact he was irritated at people expecting him to know everything!

There were no other claims to Leadership.

At 6.01, the Elevator Group was Leaderless, Answerless, Hope-less: is this …. elevator going to move? When??

At 6.06, there was universal unhappiness, that such tough luck had befallen all of ‘them’: The Elevator Group. Mutual Sympathy. Lessening Hope. They were also beginning to feel a little hot, and sweaty. And discomfort and worry could no longer be hidden. Why was nothing happening?

At 6.10, one of the Elevator Group Members as if revealing a triumphant discovery said that this elevator’s capacity was actually Seven, NOT eight! And because there was an eighth person on board, the elevator was stuck and giving the rest a bad time.

At 6.11, a feeling as if a lifeboat had been thrown at them. Yes, that must be it. But who is No.8?

By 6.15, there was no Elevator Group. Instead, there were eight suspicious, unhappy, angry individuals. Who is the culprit? And why could the culprit not have waited for the next trip??

At 6.18, somebody threw up a guess that the elevator stoppage was deliberate….

At 6.19 the elevator moved. There was dead silence. And mutual avoidance of looks. The small sign which was now visible when one of them moved towards the front said: ‘Elevator Capacity: 10’.

If in 36 minutes of uncertainty (and consequent ‘stagnation’), if eight normal people could begin to let imagination run wild, and develop mistrust towards each other…..

Raju Swamy                                       
Founder
& Advisor to Family Business
PROMAG Consultancy Services

Apt. 206 Brigade Rathna
42 Ranga Rao Road
Shankarapuram
Bangalore – 560004 INDIA
Tel. +91-80-26676298/ Cell: 9845271498
Email:
rajupromag@hotmail.com
www.promagconsult.in
www.familybusinessadvice.wordpress.com   (Blogsite)
Strengthening Family Dynamics for Family Business Growth…….since 1985

 

 

Family Business – Mails to my clients – 6 – There has to be an end to the road to nowhere…..(To a Family in conflict)

09-12-2010

 There has to be an end to the road to nowhere…..‏

  1. During November of 2010, the XYZ Family almost faced two extremely serious calamities concerning  the health and well-being of two of their senior members. While I do not have an obsession with religion, I do believe however that only an act of God prevented the Family from being hit with a Tsunami, for the consequences would have been nothing less. The Family should not be blind to learning lessons from this near-Tsunami.
  2. One of the major weaknesses of the Family, at least in Business, is the apparent absence of Visioning, thinking, preparing for the future. Every action seems to be aimed at the here-and-now, with a defense that the future of the business is not predictable, because of the nature of the business itself. And there are no exceptions to this attitude.
  3. And then, of course, like in many families in business, no one in the family likes to be held accountable.
  4. I also believe that the growth of businesses has been stifled by lack of concern for the future resulting in more people chasing lesser opportunities. In such a situation, conflict and stresses and strains are inevitable, and even more so when wealth creation is hampered by lack of choices for compensating ups and downs.
  5. Finally, in this process of an absence of forward thinking, the next generation, existing as well as any other capable youngsters who can be inducted into the Business, plus the next generation as investors, will,  by negligence or otherwise,  be left holding the baggage of the past as the legacy for the future. And I am no genius to foresee the inevitable end of the XYZ Family in the not too distant future. A negative legacy with limited choices is a dangerous mixture, offering no scope for positive adjustments.
  6. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that the responsibility for leading a productive, healthy, and peaceful ‘senior citizen’ life, and for providing a better future, to the next generation, of your own families, particularly in terms of preparation, and in terms of financial and mental well-being, lies squarely with the four Seniors in the Family Business. And the serious problem in this statement is the fact that as 50% of the Seniors are in a long-drawn conflict, the other 50% will be rendered ineffective, and therefore a negative legacy is a foregone conclusion.
  7. I strongly recommend, therefore, that having escaped a Tsunami at this point, the time has come to mend fences, personally and professionally. God may not be so kind again, and it is foolishness to challenge God, and have the next generation holding a negative legacy.
  8. It is time for Truce, for the sake of your immediate families, for the sake of the larger XYZ Family, and for yourselves. This ‘High Risk Conflict’ is a loser from the start: there is nothing to win. Even the future will be lost.
  9. The XYZ Family must win the battle, against itself, for the enemy lies within…. 

Raju Swamy                                       
Founder
& Advisor to Family Business
PROMAG Consultancy Services

Apt. 206 Brigade Rathna
42 Ranga Rao Road
Shankarapuram
Bangalore – 560004 INDIA
Tel. +91-80-26676298/ Cell: 9845271498
Email:
rajupromag@hotmail.com
www.promagconsult.in
www.familybusinessadvice.wordpress.com   (Blogsite)
Strengthening Family Dynamics for Family Business Growth…….since 1985