It all begins with, and ultimately succeeds on, the relationship level. The most difficult challenge faced by a family business is dealing with the complex inter-personal relationships that are the foundation of the business. The gray areas that define the boundaries between the family, the shareholders and the business are often cloudy and confusing. Inter-generational understanding, mutual respect, trust and helpful family rules may be just a distant and abstract concept. By clarifying the ambiguity between the various roles and goals, Pervin helps redefine the structure and the interaction for those involved so the business will advance.
At some point in development, most business families feel obliged to choose whether they wish the business to remain family owned and family managed, or family owned and professionally managed, where competent family members are invited to participate and contribute.
Continuity of the family firm requires change. One of the most important issues that family members need to address is how they deal with change within the family business. Minimal planning and training prior to the entry of family members into the business can lead to confusion, misinterpretation and the creation of covert alliances for the powerless as they struggle for recognition. An inability to communicate their ideas and their expectations of the various roles they play within the business may leave some family members resentful and stranded between the emotional family system and the rational business system.
Working directly with business/family members to define the roles and responsibilities of the dominant personalities and the incoming generation in the new structure, Aron Pervin makes sense of these emotional situations to create harmony within the business family. During the transition stage, the ground rules are established for the subsequent introduction of family to the business as well as for non-active shareholders.
"I am the President of a second generation, 51 year old, Canadian family business with aspirations of successfully handling a seamless transition in passing expertise and control to the third generation.
I was seeking a source of expertise to provide a framework, tuition and counsel in managing this process. I was aware of Aron Pervin's name over the years through articles that he wrote for The Globe and Mail on family business issues.
After joining "CAFE" (The Canadian Association of Family Enterprise), attending their lectures and acquiring the entire "CAFE" do it yourself video and book library on the issue, I quickly realized that I was out of my depth if I was to master this once in a lifetime skill of replacing myself at the helm of my business with a suitable successor.
Having attended Aron Pervin's lecture on establishing an outside Board of Directors I determined that I wanted to contract for his services in helping me to establish my own board.
Aron's subsequent counsel was invaluable in specifically coaching me on creating an Outside Board. I have successfully established an Outside Board of Advisors as a result.
He has also helped me immeasurably using both his business wisdom and skills in giving me a head start along the 15 year path I have charted to complete my succession plans."
–Second generation owner
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