Family enterprises bring an additional level of complexity to business and partnership dynamics. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way (Tolstoy).
A positive family history and culture can provide a strong bond for family enterprises. Successful ones handle the inter- and intra-generational issues of power sharing, wealth sharing, and transitions well. The four key roles of a successful family enterprise are well understood and respected.
However, family history and culture makes everything more personal, often confounding and complicating ordinarily solvable problems. They can be an accelerant; a kind of kindling that interferes with the ability to get to the real issues. Rather than bonding the members together, family history and strong emotions can become a source of mistrust and instability. Money, structure, and control are no longer solutions, but instead become weapons that corrode trust and the ability to constructively collaborate.
With any family enterprises that is in transition or at an impasse, an ability to understand, separate, and address the family dynamics from the critical business issues is essential to moving things constructively forward.
Michel Zelnick can bring his unique experiences to family enterprises, having grown up in a family business, along with working over twenty years as a CPA, attorney, and business leader, and practicing over a decade as a clinical and family psychotherapist.