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10 Action Steps for Avoiding "Cain & Abel"


  he relationship you have with your sibling(s) is typically the longest-lived bond you will share with anyone. You grow up in the same household and if your family has a family enterprise, you may be business partners your entire adult life.

 
The length and depth of shared sibling history can be a recipe for a powerful partnership, or the breeding ground for endless rivalry and hostilities. Yet, no matter where on the spectrum you would describe your sibling relationship, you must work hard and put key systems and structures in place to succeed as partners. Successful family business sibling partnerships develop:

 
A shared sense of purpose. The duties and burdens of ownership are acceptable because business continuity has significant meaning for every team member.
 
Method of future compensation. A process is in place to set future salaries, bonuses, and dividends and to audit perks and financial relationships with the business and each other.
An independent, outside board. The best forum for debate and the best possible insurance policy, independent outsiders are a well-established part of the company's governing structure. Participation agreement. All understand who can work in the business and who can own stock, including consideration for spouses, children, stepchildren, other relatives, etc.
A siblings' code of conduct. The team has explicitly agreed and committed in writing how it will make decisions, resolve conflict, treat each other, deal with the press and the public, conduct business affairs (openly and ethically), and relate to each other. Familiarity and comfort with outside directors and key advisors. All members of the sibling team have good personal relationships with the directors, lawyers, accountants, and other important consultants.
A siblings' code of conduct. The team has explicitly agreed and committed in writing how it will make decisions, resolve conflict, treat each other, deal with the press and the public, conduct business affairs (openly and ethically), and relate to each other. Consensus on future of key nonfamily executives. The siblings all respect and understand the contributions of key non-family executives and support the development of all talent that helps make the business successful.
Have proven success at conflict resolution. All team members trust that serious problems can be overcome without the intervention of their parents. Redemption and exit plan. system that permits someone to exit and sell shares (including the pricing and terms) is in place. (Some families


deliberately make exit impossible. If so, the arrangement should be legally binding and all should pledge to uphold it for the reason it was chosen.)

 

FBCG… Providing Helpful Solutions for Today’s Family Owned Businesses


The consultants of the Family Business Consulting Group understand building a successful sibling partnership requires dedication and hard work on the part of the parents, spouses, and most especially the siblings themselves. Our teams of consultants have the knowledge and experience to help your family and your business successfully navigate through the greatest challenges facing sibling teams.

The FBCG team can help you develop a strong sibling partnership and provide time tested SOLUTIONS for your family business to use for generations.

We invite you to give us a call, there is absolutely no obligation.

773-604-5005
fbcg@efamilybusiness.com