“Good governance is key to long-term success, especially in family-owned business, where stakeholder relationships are often complex,” says Sonny Iqbal, co-leader of Egon Zehnder’s Global Family Business Advisory.
In Emerging Markets Business, Egon Zehnder’s Sonny Iqbal and Richard Stark offered their perspective on one family business, Paraíso Verde, which was founded in Chile in 1911 and later fell into crisis following the loss of the founders.
Managing family relationships at work is one of the thorniest issues in family-owned businesses, particularly when relationships cross generations, such as parent-child or uncle/aunt-nephew/niece. Many family members are committed to professionalism and strive to separate “work” and “family” in their dealings with each other.
The ability to give and receive feedback is a fundamental leadership skill. Feedback improves outcomes and results, motivates performance, brings groups together, clarifies goals and objectives, clears outstanding issues and inspires development.
In a recent study, Egon Zehnder and Family Business Network International interviewed executives at 50 of the world’s top family firms - mostly in the third or fourth generation - to discover how they unlock great leadership.
Leadership succession is one of the most critical and daunting tasks a family business can face. Unfortunately, there are few resources that set forth in a concise way established best practices and then provide practical guidance on their implementation.
The CFO candidate came for ten interviews. Ten times he spoke in great detail with the managing partner of the global family company about corporate strategy, responsibilities, and their understanding of his role. Ten times they discussed the values and culture of the organization. And then, at the end of a process which lasted many weeks, this experienced executive said “thanks, but no thanks.”
Family businesses are frequently overshadowed by major corporations, yet they make up the majority of businesses in virtually every country in the world. They are, in other words, the backbone of the economy.
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