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Family Run Businesses

Over years of working with family businesses across cultures, we have gained insights and an in-depth understanding of the unique challenges that family businesses face.

We help both the family and the business.

We explore solutions for all business and family issues that impact the business, help decide on the best course of action, and implement plans that will help the family business succeed for generations. 

The Challenge:

Charting a course across multiple challenges faced by Family Managed Businesses is often overwhelming and can extract a huge price - both in terms of business success and family relationships.

Some commonly observed challenges / problems faced are:
  1. Family emotions : ego clashes, sibling rivalry, and feeling of being left out
  2. Family or business : what comes first?
  3. Succession planning : a fair to all approach
  4. Retaining non-family professionals

Understandably, of all family businesses, only 30% survive into the second generation, and of those, just 12% survive into the third generation.

Our Approach to Family Run Businesses:

  1. Understanding of your situation (family and business) through structured diagnostic and highly confidential personal interviews with key stakeholders within the family: The Diagnosis.
  2. Sharing the diagnosis with the Family, during a facilitated off-site: The Family Retreat.
  3. Developing the next course of action.
  4. Creation of a framework for resolution of issues.
  5. On-going decisions, plans, views and insights of the family is then documented: The Family Constitution.

Family Constitution:

What Is It?

The Family Business Constitution - is a statement of general principles. It outlines your business' core values and vision, and your family's commitment to them. Importantly, it is also a practical guide for running the business and a framework you can use to deal with business issues that have the potential to cause disputes.

How Do We Create It?

The process of drawing up a family constitution is collaborative and involves everybody with a stake in the business. A plan is created for regular reviews, dissemination and rules around the constitution. This process is facilitated and managed by White Spaces. Once this document becomes a viable, living creed, it is then handed over to the Family for managing and implementation.

Typical Components:

A typical family-business constitution would include the following sections:

  • The business' strategy, objectives and ethos
  • Leadership
  • Management structure
  • Entry principles for family members
  • Succession and exit policies rights
  • Responsibilities and obligations of family appointments
  • Rights, responsibilities and obligations of family members inactive in the business
  • Appointment and rights of non-family board members, management and employees
  • Training, remuneration and appraisal of employees - both family and non-family
  • Involvement of non-executive directors and other outsiders  
  • Communication channels
  • Dispute-resolution procedures

The White Spaces Edge:

Our Principals have a deep understanding of the complexities of a Family Managed Business and hold expertise in individual areas of building and institutionalizing Organizational Capability.

Performance Management & Compensation

Process Excellence


Services We Offer
Organization and Role Design
Leadership Capability Development
Performance Measurement
Business Process Optimization
Execution and Alignment
M&A Integration
Family Run Businesses

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© 2009 White Spaces Consulting