Preventive Medicine for Family Firms

Thanks to the The Family Firm Institute Practitioner for publishing my article on “Preventive Medicine for Family Firms Facing Predictable Stress Points”. I emphasize the value of getting negative emotions and fantasies out in the open and under discussion. The toxic potential of a transitional event dissipates with airing, continued awareness, deepening understanding, and some straightforward strategies.

For many people, it is counterintuitive to bring up anticipated bad feelings, conflict, or possible negative outcomes. We want to hope for the best, not voice our fears and doubts. But in fact, it is much better to voice potential dangers and obstacles and agree to face them as a unified group.

I focus on 3 key family enterprise stress points, events which are predictable. Knowing an event is going to occur in the normal course of things means you can implement some preventive measures to decrease emotional fall out. In the article, I look at three typical stress points in the life cycle of a family business: divisions in status, the “classic” mid-life crisis of 40-somethings, and the life phase I call “starting older”. Read the full article here.

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