Direction & Decisiveness in the Business and Family

Lack of effective governance is a major cause of organizational and family problems in family enterprises. When there is unclear direction, inefficient decision-making, ambiguous roles, and short-term planning present, governance is likely absent, flawed, or too informal.

Effective governance reduces tension, adds structure, and improves clarity around:

  • The goals, values, and direction of the business, ownership group and family
  • The roles, responsibilities and rights of stakeholders
  • The criteria for membership in different governance and management bodies
  • Appropriate decision-making processes and ways to resolve issues in the system

CFEG helps owners and family members to improve their governance systems by embracing structure and putting in place the right forums and processes for their family enterprise. We assist families to determine the right membership, decision-making, and functioning of governance forums, and by facilitating dialogue around the important issues.

We work collaboratively with families in business in two areas of governance:

Corporate Governance is the effective direction-setting and decision-making for the company and owners, and in the company. CFEG works interactively with family owners and business leaders to shape the corporate governance model that works best for their ownership group and company. We assist the owners to create or strengthen the owners council and board of directors; set direction for the company; optimize the composition of the owners council, board of directors, and executive management; improve the relationship and communication between the owners, board and CEO; redesign or upgrade the executive leadership model; and clarify CEO and COO roles and responsibilities.

Family Governance is the effective direction-setting and decision-making for the family—not for the owners, which is addressed by corporate governance—but for the business family. Long-lasting families in business are disciplined in their relationship to the business, and have a clear mission, vision and set of goals for the family. Effective family governance integrates the family’s goals with the business’ goals. CFEG works interactively with families in business to shape the family governance model that works best for their family. We create or strengthen a family council and family assembly; facilitate regular family meetings; develop the family’s mission, vision and values statements; create, document and enforce family policies and a family constitution; improve the relationship and communication between the family, the owners, and the board of directors; and resolve family tensions before they damage family relationships or impact the company.

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