Family Partner

Family Business or a Business-oriented Family?

13-09-2019

Luis Feliu

General Manager Spain

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At sea, arguments arise when the boat is drifting, off-course, in the doldrums. When the wind is strong, when the boat is sailing at a good clip, everyone is paying attention and there is no time for personal or banal matters. This is what CEDEC does at our client companies: we mark a destination according to the owner's wishes, we set a course that everyone is comfortable with, and we can all enjoy the sailing.

Family Business or a Business-oriented Family?

CEDEC FAMILY PARTNER is much more than behavioral instructions, an organization, or a Family Protocol. CEDEC FAMILY PARTNER is based on respect for a business owner’s foundational culture and philosophy, adapting to a modern, secure, and professional management that ensures the ultimate purpose of family business: to offer family members a serene and positive future.

All companies and organizations go through critical phases at some point in their history, when decisions take on a special relevance.

In family companies, one of the most difficult stages to manage has to do with generational handover. When the second generation acquires sufficient weight in the company ecosystem and starts making executive and operational decisions, misunderstandings and problems can arise; in the majority of cases, these end up breaking family cohesion and impacting business effectiveness and profitability.

Case 1:

The first generation feels strong and with sufficient experience to disregard the opinions of the second generation. They think that this second generation still has much to learn, that they have done well by doing things as they’ve always been done, and the second generation’s time will come.

Case 2:

The second generation feels more competent than the first. They think there are more efficient ways to do things, that technology will always come to their aid, and that they have been too lenient with staff, clients, and providers for many years.

Case 3:

Among the members of the second generation, there is a strong disparity of commitment, effort, intensity, and involvement in the company project. Each one thinks they have more rights than the other because they are more effective and involved.

Case 4:

There are members of the second generation that do not work at the company and are not expected to do so, as they have undertaken other personal projects. That is, they are part of the family, but not part of the company, but they feel they have certain rights, especially regarding family assets.

In these four cases, we add in the (common) possibility that emotionally close third parties may influence the opinions of the main actors, adding emotional complexity to the problem.

In company management, the mix of emotional and subjective elements with rational and objective information is a ticking time bomb which will go off sooner or later.

Indeed, what is happening is a competition in which alleged individual skills are used as weapons, without considering that without family cohesion, there is no family company, much less a business-oriented family.

Solving this type of situation from within is practically impossible and, in any case, very dangerous: latent problems may lead to dire consequences.

The presence, therefore, of an external agent—a professional mediator, an expert in hundreds of cases who is able to listen, comprehend, understand, and combine wills—is the logical solution in these situations.

CEDEC has worked in thousands of family businesses, with a single objective: the continuity of the company, its values, its contribution to family cohesion, and its competitive advantage.

CEDEC FAMILY PARTNER is much more than behavioral instructions, an organization, or a family protocol. CEDEC FAMILY PARTNER is based on respect for a business owner’s foundational culture and philosophy, adapting these to a modern, secure, and professional management that ensures the ultimate purpose of family business: to offer family members a serene and positive future.

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