Family owned business: Unique skills required to run a successful family owned business

"Family owned business" is a synonym for entrepreneurship, innovation and strong values deeply rooted throughout the whole company. Often these valuesare derivedfrom many generations of the family being directly involved inthe leadership and management of the company. Up to 90% of the world's businesses belong to the category of a family owned business. - and in most countries, family businesses are described as the "backbone" of the economy.

In many instances, irrespective of geographies or cultural differences, the family owned business sets the standard for corporate social responsibility in its home country, with a focus on employees and the local community. Equally as important is the impact that a family owned business has on training and educating young people in a community.This service to the economy and society is often undervalued by those outside a family owned business.

Another common feature of family owned businesses is that these companies often draw onan innovative entrepreneurial energy coupled with a flexibility to react to market developments. This flexibility is usually based on a flat hierarchy, a swift decision-making processes and a leader that is used to inspiring people.Indeed, the owner of any successful family owned business will display strong leadership skills, driven by the passion and self-motivation of running their own business today and for future generations.

Operating a family owned business requires special management skills regardless of whether a family member or an external executiveis in charge. Many studies have been published directingtheir spotlight on the challenges and opportunities a family owned business' management has to consider in the areas of organizational development, operational management and strategic planning.

Probably the most demanding task for a family owned business is succession planning. Poor succession planning can have a heavy impact on the long-term performance - and even existence -of a family owned business.

The special dynamics of family bonds, personal relationships and individual agendas also needspecific management and leadership skills.Indeed, inter-generational and/or sibling conflict is a common reason that family owned business gets into financial or operational trouble.

A diverse investment portfolio and unorthodox corporate structure are often other realities of a family owned business - and particular challenges for outsiders entering the business. Real estate and other investments may not follow any strategic management model, while the day-to-day operational management may be complex.

Corporate training for a family owned business
As a leading business school, IMD offers a specific leadership development program addressing the unique skills and the knowledge required to successfully operate a family owned business. The program addresses critical family business issues, including growth, governance and culture. It also provides guidance into how to analyze the family business today and reshape it for tomorrow. As the world's longest-running program for family businesses, our program can help you secure the future of your family owned business.


Strengthen your family business

Looking for high-impact family business training?
Discover how IMD's Leading the Family Business program can strengthen your family business - download the free brochure now!


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