John Tucker is Director of the International Centre for Families in Business, University of Gloucestershire.
I am not an accountant or a solicitor. I do not deal with technical issues. I work with people, their fears, their dreams, their wants, their needs and their emotions. And, guess what, I have as many fears, dreams and and emotions as the clients I work with. The work I do as a family business consultant is up close and personal.
Is passing the baton just a question of the transfer of management responsibility and away we go?
Involving children in the family business is something most owners do, whether it’s unconsciously or not. But perhaps they are trying to involve someone in a business in which they have no interest.
The definition of ‘train’ in The English Dictionary is “instruct or educate; to submit a person to arduous physical exercise for athletics; to cause plant to grow in certain way; to exercise body or mind to achieve high standard of efficiency; line of cars drawn by locomotive on railway track”.
I often use music and poetry in my work with families in business together, and an example would be the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young recording of Teach Your Children Well. But before explaining why I use this particular song I want to explore my experience of the ‘change’ phenomenon that seems to have swept across organisations.
Family businesses have become the talk of the decade. Over 90% of businesses worldwide are family businesses, so we are told. Only 30% of family businesses make it through the second generation.
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by intellect, but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves” (Carl Jung)
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