Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

If a Family Business Seeks Improvement, Where Should It Start?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 1, 2006

To work at peak levels, family businesses should focus on three distinct areas: accountability, behavioral ground rules, and planning.

Accountability. Everyone in the organization—family member, longtime friend, or unrelated party—must be held accountable for his or her job performance. A telling question to ask: "If we were seeking to fill this position today, would ______ be the best person for this particular job?"

Ground Rules. The company should set up sound behavioral ground rules such as:

We won’t air personal conflicts in public or in the office.

We won’t allow the family to have personal use of company resources.

We’ll meet regularly as a group to discuss business and interpersonal issues.

We’ll support each other to other family members, employees, business associates, and the outside community.

Planning. Setting clear mission statements, strategies, and objectives helps guide behaviors and decisions in the company. Planning can eliminate conflicts that arise from misunderstandings and an unclear purpose. The depth and extent of the planning determines the company’s level of success in providing business profits and harmonious agreement in family matters.

Wayne Rivers
Family Business Institute
Raleigh, N.C.

Post a comment



Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!