One Big, not so Happy Family

I just read an interesting article about a family business. The third-generation son of the CEO recounted in the story how he “fired” his father. The end result was that their relationship was stronger than ever and the company continues to thrive today.

Below you will find a brief list of some of the problems that arose for them; the ones that I found to be the most interesting parts of this story. Having worked for several family businesses, I think it is very common to see issues like the ones I’ve highlighted below.

These can sometimes be small problems, but are often major stumbling blocks, not only to the health of the organization, but things that hinder the happiness and success of non-family contributors. There are often very dedicated, hard-working people that exist within family enterprises who are frustrated that their voices are not heard and their performance goes unrecognized, with the end result being that they leave for greener pastures.

So please take a look at the issues below and rate yourself (or your company). Do these issues exist for you? If you are a leader, what can you do to change them? If you have experienced these things as an employee, what can you do to get some positive change to happen?

TRANSPARENCY—I know that there are some companies that don’t even share monthly sales numbers with their employees and, quite frankly, I just do NOT get that. What is the big secret? If people know how you are doing, and more importantly where you WANT to be, perhaps they can come up with some ways to help you get there.

And as for costs, why not share the facts? You might have an employee with a stellar idea for how to save some money or do something differently to help you positively impact the bottom line.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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