Sep 16, 2014
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Leave a Legacy

RSS By: Kevin Spafford, Legacy Project

Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project.  He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.

The Family as Business Partners

Jan 30, 2009
In the family operation, hiring is often based on, “We’ll find a place for you…” Then we fall into familial roles and patterns of behavior where Dad is authority and son/daughter is the obedient child. The communication link in a family business often breaks down in the roles we play and the comfort zone of family relationships – the zone where dad is always Dad and children are always kids. Parent is authoritative; child is obedient.
 
If the goal is big business (an operation that is bigger than self) then the solution involves acting like big business. Assume new roles and responsibilities. Use job descriptions and employee handbooks. Create salary schedules and delineate benefits. If parents and their children are co-owners they must act like business partners. If parents and children are co-owners, I suggest – “no permission/no request” decision making authority – base authority on ownership percentages or managerial roles. >>

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