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Dealing with Conflicts of Interest on a Family Business Board

In May 2016, 180 leaders from over 100 companies attended The Private Company Governance Summit in Washington, D.C. including FBCG senior consultant Stephanie Brun de Pontet who served as a panel moderator for the session “Dealing with Conflicts of Interest on Private Company Board.” The forum focused on how to create a clear distinction between a board member’s role on the board and the other roles they may plan within or for the company.

 
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Should We Separate the Chair and CEO Roles in our Family Business?

Is a combined CEO/Chair function always the right structure? The answer becomes complicated in later generations, for bigger families, for those with more complex businesses and when governance is formalized. The opportunity to challenge tradition is while you are planning a leadership change or making significant changes to the board, such as increasing formality as with the addition of independent directors. It should also be a key question in your emergency succession plan.

 
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Family Champions: Energy for Success

Business families require effective leadership throughout the system to fulfill their potential. A lot of attention goes to who will be the next leader of the business, and appropriately so. But there is another area in which leadership can bring great value to the family – the role of “family champion.” This person is a visionary catalyst who invests energy into the family-business system to support and develop the family-ownership advantage.

 
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From Partners by Chance to Partners by Choice: The 7 Cs of Trust-based Partnerships

Sibling and cousin partnerships almost always come about by chance rather than choice. Sometimes, but not usually, these partnerships are formed because siblings and cousins want to be in business together. It makes good sense then for family business partners to take the time to re-constitute their partnerships around fundamental principles – what I call the 7 Cs of Trust-based Partnerships.

 
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Ensuring that family business owners are strong contributors to the board

Owners on the board represent two distinct groups: owners who are employees of the family business, and those who are not. First, the role and responsibilities of directors need to be clarified. Owners should sit in the boardroom to serve on behalf of the full ownership group and not to represent their personal interests. As a director they have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the business is well-managed. To fulfill this responsibility, they must have a solid understanding of the dynamic​

 
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Evolving Your Family Business Board

Family businesses that evolve their board structures to meet the growing needs of the family and business gain greater understanding and appreciation for complexities of the governance process as well as for how best to harness the board with regard to innovation and other key areas. Beyond the board’s form, several other dimensions are important to consider such as size, composition, rotation, retirement and evaluation.

 
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Understanding Profitability in the Family Business

Mixing family and money in business can be confidently accomplished when families take the time to educate themselves on the concepts and key issues surrounding profitability, build forums to gain alignment on their goals, and set policies to clarify expectations on profitability related matters.

 

Should Spouses Work in the Family Business?

We know of many family firms that allow spouses to be employed in the business. Outcomes tend toward the positive when there is a strong drive towards accountability; when the person is highly qualified for the job; when performance goals are set and reviewed regularly and feedback is given; and when there are rules in place that prohibit one spouse working for another or spouses being in the same department.

 
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Managing the Complexity of Human Resources in Family Firms

Because your business’s performance is so highly dependent on your people, HR is a crucial contributor to the superior performance of family firms. So, maximizing the effectiveness of your HR systems and practices will help maximize your performance across the board. The ideal role for HR is as a true champion of engagement of all firm resources, not just the human ones. In many firms, that will mean taking clear, practical steps to transition HR into a more strategic role.

 

Developing a Winning Strategy for Family and Business: The Parallel Planning Process

The parallel planning process, originally advanced by Randel Carlock and John Ward in “Strategic Planning for the Family and Business” (Palgrave, 2001), links these two powerful forces to recognize the real potential of family business. By helping both family and management create a business strategy that supports the interests of the family and the potential of the business, a powerful synergy can result.

 
 
Results: 766 Record(s) Found.

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