Family working together in business can be an ideal for many people who work hard to establish and maintain a family business or farm over a generation or more. Some families manage this really well, by viewing their role in the business as they would in any other job – professional, efficient and accountable.
In Ireland over 75% of all businesses are family owned, and account for 50% of employment in the economy! This is a startling fact. Business life is complex enough; it must get another layer of complexity when the people you work with are also you parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles etc! It is difficult to know how these businesses ever succeed!
Range of Difficulties
There are a range of difficulties which beset family business in which the skills of a mediator may be employed.
- Succession planning – best with a neutral facilitator/mediator.
- Transfer of assets – property and wealth.
- Planning for the future of the business to ensure its’ survival.
- Deciding on leadership and roles – best people for the job!
- Decisions about how many generations the business can, or should support.
Conflict in a Family Business
Failure to deal with conflict in a family business can devastate a generation, destroy the business and lead to loss of reputation, and legal actions. This could be avoided by employing an mediator experienced in family business mediation when difficult decisions need to be made.