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Dealing with intergenerational conflict in family businesses

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Johnathan Dudley, Partner, Business Advisory
People in presentatoin

One of the key questions we get from our family business clients is how to deal with conflict and conflicting priorities between the generations within the business. This is particularly prevalent when the business is undergoing a change of leadership if the family is struggling with the conflicting values goals and priorities of the next generation.

In this article we have outlined some of the things your family can do to help manage any conflicts you may have, both now and in the future.

  1. Schedule a family meeting – The first thing to do to help resolve conflict is to schedule a meeting with all those involved in the family business. In this meeting everyone in the family can set out their desires and objectives and how these align with those of the business.
  2. Create a family business timeline - this will help you to predict when key family events may occur which may effect when business decisions will need to be made. For example when family members will be due to retire.
  3. Create a family charter - A Family Charter is a document drawn up between family members which records their agreement on how a family business should be run. It is a really important document which operates like a treaty between the family members.
  4. Hire a business coach – A business coach can help with a wide variety of issues that family businesses face from helping to devise a business strategy to planning for succession. Families find that being able to interact with a coach for help whenever it suits them helps to give them peace of mind that any arising issues can be dealt with as soon as possible. Receiving personalised feedback and practical advice from someone who understands your business and what you are trying to achieve could also be much more affordable than undertaking an MBA (Master of Business Administration).

Get in touch

For more information take a look at some of the business growth tools we use with our clients.

For more information on dealing with conflict or to discuss your family’s circumstances get in touch with Johnathan Dudley your usual Crowe contact.

Family Business Focus series

Addressing the wide range of issues, challenges and opportunities affecting your family businesses providing insight on the actions to take to ensure its success.
For more information, visit our Business lifecycle.

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We can help you navigate the business lifecycle and support you through the challenges and opportunities at each stage of your journey to success. For more information please visit our Business lifecycle or speak to your usual Crowe contact.

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Johnathan Dudley
Johnathan Dudley
Partner, Head of Manufacturing