Many successful families in business hold at least one family meeting each year. Family meetings often have a formal business and social component, and a structured and unstructured component, and are frequently held in locations away from the normal environments of the family.
These meetings provide an opportunity for all family members to voice their opinions on the business in an open forum which may be chaired by an independent third party or a family member (not necessarily a leader within the business).
Family meetings may be mandated by a shareholders agreement or a family constitution and can be useful to address issues such as succession and to ensure family members have a sound understanding and can provide feedback on the family business’ strategic direction.
Providing this open forum is often beneficial as it increases harmony and improves relationships, improves communication, conflict is better anticipated and managed, and the family becomes more motivated as they see their united vision being implemented.
Business Advisory Councils
Family business ownership groups can be isolated without experience in other businesses or industries or even how competitors operate as family businesses or non-family businesses, as the family members often only develop their skills within the one enterprise.
By establishing a business advisory council a family business has access to a group of advisors who seek to understand the owners of the business and the business itself, and provide advice as to its operation from an external view point.
Utilising experts in a business specific industry, marketing and business development, finance and legal areas can assist family business to look beyond its normal operations and obtain an advantage over its competitors.