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Family Business Questionnaire




Family Business Group Consultants at DIALOGUE SOLUTIONS, Inc. have specialized expertise and experience in working with the complex issues facing families or partners working together in business.

We have been engaged to assist these business organizations in a wide variety of projects. We have attempted to categorize those engagements in the following summaries:
  Businesses call us when the owners/partners/siblings are having trouble with each other:
    Sometimes conflict between partners or between generations about the management or direction of the business has become divisive.
    There may be conflict between owners who are actively managing the business and those who are not.
    There may be conflict between family managers and non-family managers.
    Frequently, we are called when conflict between sibling heirs is disrupting their ability to function as an ownership team or a management team.
  Businesses call us when there is a crisis:
    A partner/shareholder’s or a family member’s personal problem, e.g., compulsive gambling, verbal abuse, or alcoholism, may be impacting the business.
    The founder may have become ill or died suddenly with no plan for succession in place.
  We are called to facilitate business retreats or family meetings.
    Differences of opinion around strategy and business practices are frequently very disruptive. Facilitated meetings focusing on strategic planning, dialogue training or consensus building are services we frequently provide.
    Families call us to avoid becoming one of the family businesses featured in the media suing each other after the death of a founder. To help them achieve that goal we facilitate family retreats annually, quarterly or as needed.
    Families want an estate plan that is fair, acceptable and beneficial for family members working in the business and for those not employed in the business. They want to ensure that there will not be family disruption, conflict or lawsuits during probate or after the offspring begin working together. Facilitated conversations around succession issues and the founder’s wishes frequently reduces assumptions and unrealistic expectations.
  Sophisticated business owners are calling us because they want to understand the habits and conditions that create happy families and resilient businesses before there is a crisis.
    Especially gratifying has been our recent work with entrepreneurs exploring partnerships with their 26 -32 year old offspring. We’ve created a series of exercises that explore assumptions, roles and expectations as well as plans for compensation, expansion and/or capital withdrawal.
    We have created well-received presentations including “Surviving Wealth” and “Characteristics of Successful / Healthy Families.”
  Additional Projects & Services
    Building sibling teams for next generation leadership
    Executive development and professional development for heirs
    Development and facilitation of family council meetings
    Developing employment guidelines for family offspring
    Developing job descriptions, clarifying roles and responsibilities
    Matching competencies and personal styles to specific job positions
    Executive coaching for non-family executives
    Planning for ownership transition
    Planning for management transition

Every engagement is customized to the specific needs of each organization. The goal of each project is to work ourselves out of a job by developing new skills, processes and structures within the organization.

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