How Do I Sell the Need For Policies and Procedures In Our Family Enterprise to My Parents and Grandparents?

Business Leader Post, April 24, 2012

Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D.

This week’s FamilyBiz Q&A column is by TD&A family business consultant George Burns.

The ultimate paradox here is that more formality, not less, is welcome in a family business. Parents and grandparents inevitably govern more from the heart than from the head. Protocols regarding family business communications, procedures for decision-making, even “due process,” may sound cumbersome and bureaucratic, but in the medium and long run they avoid any “redo” and constant complaints about lack of transparency and fair play. It is a corporate form of good manners and fair dealing that offers the best chance of letting people speak their mind while avoiding the personal.