Whilst most of my clients progress through the three modes/phases of my Tears, Sweat & Blood approach, I am also able to offer the following specialist family business services in isolation to this overall process.
In most cases, I provide these services in collaboration with your existing advisers, such as your accountant, financial planner and solicitor, however I am also able to recommend specialist advisers with expertise and family business experience in these and other areas.
When thinking about the future management and ownership of your family business, there are so many important and complex issues to consider, including:
- Who are the stakeholders in your succession process – your business partner, your life partner, your family, your key staff?
- In thinking about the future, would you prefer to see a continuation of family ownership and management, or are you open to selling the business, or introducing external management?
- Are you ready, or close to being ready to start stepping back from the business, from both a financial and psychological perspective?
- Is it your intention to sell or gift your shares in the business, and what are the financial, taxation and estate planning implications?
- Are your proposed successors ready, willing and capable of assuming the responsibility of managing and/or owning the business?
- How will the new managers and owners communicate and make decisions, and how will your ongoing skills and experience be retained?
Kin in the Game provides a comprehensive succession planning process designed to help family businesses, of all shapes and sizes, navigate this challenging journey. This process typically involves:
- Undertaking an initial discovery exercise to understand the business and family background and dynamics
- Interviewing all stakeholders to ascertain their views, needs and aspirations in relation to the future management and ownership of the business
- Evaluating the pros, cons and implications of your various succession options
- Developing a detailed written succession plan and associated communication and decision making landscape
- Facilitating the long-term implementation of the agreed succession plan, over a defined timetable, in collaboration with experienced financial and legal advisers.
Despite having a wonderful product or service, many family businesses have outgrown the way they have always done things, and complex and important issues are still decided “on the run”, or with minimal evaluation or consultation.
Kin In the Game is able to assist you to establish a range of governance structures, customised to the nature and needs of your organisation, such as:
Family Business Charter
A Family Business Charter or Constitution is a written articulation of the key values, expectations, responsibilities and “rules of engagement” of families in business together.
Family Business Charters are tailored to the needs, aspirations and circumstances of particular family businesses, and typically cover issues such as:
- Family and business values
- Entry criteria for family members
- Communication protocols
- Commitment and behavioural expectations
- Social responsibility
- Professional development opportunities
- Conflict resolution process
- Remuneration and dividend policy
Advisory or formal Board
An Advisory or formal Board is a forum which enables suitably qualified external/independent people to provide advice and support to the owners/directors and senior managers of a business.
Advisory and formal Boards typically involve regular, structured meetings (with an agenda, minutes, and a nominated Chairperson), and focus on strategic and major operational issues (not routine operational matters). They also tend to take some of the internal emotion and politics that often exists within family businesses, out of the decision-making process.
Advisory Boards generally provide non-binding direction/advice, and therefore tend to be slightly less formal than a formal Board, which operate pursuant to a strict legal framework.
A Family Council is a communication process which helps ensure open and healthy communication and relationships amongst family stakeholders:
Family Council meetings are designed to:
- Provide a safe and open environment for family members to raise and discuss various issues of concern and importance
- Enhance the level of communication, loyalty and friendship amongst family members
- Provide family members with an opportunity to comment on, and have some input into the strategic decisions and direction of the business (regardless of where they sit in the management structure, or whether they work in the business at all)
- Help ensure the principles outlined in the Family Business Charter are embraced
- Create a line of communication between family members and the business.
A Family Retreat is a regular, typically annual gathering of the family, designed to enhance communication, loyalty and friendship amongst family members, and address major family and business issues, such as succession and business strategy.
Family retreats are usually held off site, and often involve a interactive or social element, such as a dinner or cultural or sporting activity.
The unfortunate reality for many family businesses is that working closely with parents, children, siblings or cousins, can lead to strained personal and working relationships, and sometimes open tension or conflict.
In my experience, unaddressed tension or conflict will eventually impact on the health of individual family members, the cohesion of the overall family, and the performance of the business.
Therefore, a critical aspect of my work at Kin in the Game is to identify the source of the communication and relationship challenges within the family and the business, with a view to mediating any overt or underlying conflict and tension.
As a former funeral director, I am accustomed to working with people experiencing intense emotions, and am comfortable with the expression of frustration, anger and tears.
The focus of this process is to help those involved “put a line through the past” and commit to mutual ground-rules for improved working relationships, and in so doing, enhance the overall resilience of the family and the business.
Whilst I am able to assist in most situations, if the nature or intensity of the conflict or tension is beyond my skill-set, I am able to refer my clients to a range of suitably qualified specialists (ie psychologists and family counsellors).
An important next step for many of my family business clients is to develop a written Strategic or Business Plan, detailing their key projects and priorities over a specified time frame (usually 1-2 years).
A well conceived and constructed Business Plan helps focus the organisation’s energies and resources on a range of specific initiatives and projects, thereby providing a degree of discipline and accountability, and a focus for regular Board meetings.
Facilitating the formulation of a Strategic or Business Plan typically involves me:
- Researching and familiarising myself with the business and its market
- Facilitating a structured planning workshop, involving all key stakeholders
- Incorporating the outcomes of the workshop into a coherent written Strategy/Plan
- Assisting with communication of the Strategy/Plan to all key stakeholders
- Ongoing advice and support during implementation of the Strategy/Plan
Mentoring & Professional Development
To support the succession and professionalisation process, Kin in the Game also offers a range of people development services, including:
- Mentoring and executive coaching
- Role & Responsibility clarification and documentation
- Formulation of a Preferred Employer framework
- Career development planning for key staff and future leaders.
Presentations & Facilitation
In addition to providing advisory services, I am also available to deliver presentations on topical family business issues, or to facilitate planning or brainstorming sessions at business meetings, or industry association conferences and seminars.
61 Station Street
Malvern Vic 3144
0419 306 271
61 Station Street
Malvern Vic 3144
0419 306 271