A great article that highlights some of the key challenges facing families in business together and worth a read if nothing other than to be aware of some of the pitfalls of working with family members.
Even so, there are millions of families in business together the world over that address the issues of emotions and relationships and come to find ways to deal with them in order to preserve the family harmony and the business. As businesses become older and transcend the generations every subsequent generation will have seen at least one succession journey and be able to benefit (if they chose to) from the experience of previous generations too.
Relationships between family members are what define the family unit, and by derivation, the family business, so are an integral part of the firm. All we suggest is that care is taken when dealing with the emotional aspects of the relationships and that suitable frameworks and governance structures are put in place to mitigate the risks too.
The job of operating a family-owned company is often grievously complicated by friction arising from rivalries involving a father and his son, brothers, or other family members who hold positions in the business, or at least derive income from it. Unless the principals face up to their feelings of hostility, the author says, the business will suffer and may even die. He offers some advice on how relatives can learn to live with their peculiar situation. But he concludes that the only real solution is to move toward professional management.