Monday, December 26, 2011

A Holiday Family Tradition

Many families have a tradition they follow around the holidays and it is often nice to share those traditions or to learn of traditions other families have.

A tradition for our family, started by Kathryn my mother-in-law, centered around the red table cloth at our Christmas dinner. When the meal was complete and the table cleared, everyone would trace their hand and sign their name. Abe, my father-in-law would include the year with his name. During the course of the following year Kathryn would embroider each hand and name, using a different color of embroidery thread each year.

So now each year we can look at those hands that were present at each meal and fondly remember the events of that particular season. Throughout the years we had many international guests visiting with us during the holiday and as we look at their hand it provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our friends and family around the world.

Now our daughter-in-law is continuing our family’s holiday tradition.

We would love to have you share a holiday tradition your family enjoys. Respond below or Log into The Network of Family Businesses, go to Forums in the Main Menu on the left and click on Share Holiday Traditions of your Family.

Enjoy learning of the traditions.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Wishes To All

As we approach this Christmas season it is my wish that you and your family have a very Blessed Christmas and Holiday Season.

I approach this Christmas with a new sense of awe and amazement. As I watch my granddaughter’s curiosity and amazement at all the lights and glitter and excitement, as I watch our second grandchild not really sure what all the fuss is about, I am reminded to remember to approach this season with that same sense of childlike wonderment and awe.

Recognizing that this season can bring peace to families where there had been strife, joy to families where there had been trials and hope to families where there had been hopelessness.

May your family realize the love of this season and continue through next year.

God Bless and have a wonderful New Year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Family Business Check-Up

The Family Business Check-Up Continued: Customer Focus

Family owned Businesses, of any age or generation, need to take routine assessment of the health of their business, family, and individuals in the business. To get a clear true understanding, the assessment should consider, separately and in combination, all the factors that enhance the health of the Business Family. Critical areas that should be evaluated include: Leadership; Values; Change; Goal Orientation; Empowerment; Communications; Team Work; Interpersonal Relationships; Familiness; Customer Focus; and Individual Recognition.

The best way to find out what is actually going on in the family and business is to ask those in the family and in the business. Earlier ‘Check-Up’s examined Familiness, Family Values, and Communication. This Family Business Check-up examines Customer Focus.

All businesses must support a basic orientation to meet the needs of the customer or

client in order for the family business to maintain its’ existence. This dimension considers

the extent to which family members collectively identify with meeting the needs of those

customers and clients.

Each Family Member should address the following statements:

1. Our family’s highest priority is servicing the needs of our clients and customers.

2. Those who serve our customers and clients according to company expectations are rewarded.

3. We resolve customer and client issues to their satisfaction.

4. Client and customer suggestions rarely lead to change.

5. Input from our clients and customers is influential in our decision making process.

How would your family, employees, and customers, clients, or vendors, answer these questions about Customer Focus by your family and your family business?

We will continue to explore critical areas for the annual check-up of Family Owned Business in later posts.

What are your thoughts regarding the Business Family Check-Up?

When was the last time your Family Business had a check-up?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Enhancing Motivation Through the Stages of Change in the Family Business

It has been said the only constant in today’s environment is change. This theme of constant change is often attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus and is as applicable today as the day Heraclitus coined the phrase. In order to navigate that environment of change and lead your family and your family business, it is imperative to understand the constant change. How do you recognize the change that is occurring? How should we interpret the change? How should we communicate the change? And how do we lead our family and business through the changes?

Many people have a difficult time dealing with change and often do not have an understanding of the traits of change, the stages of change, or the propensity to deal with change. Understanding and developing knowledge, skills and abilities that will help your family and family business during change will help your family and family business flourish. In a White Paper found at Melissa outlines the Stages, Specific Principles, and Motivational Elements for Families and Family Businesses in a state of Change.

The Network of Family Businesses has scheduled a virtual educational seminar with Melissa

Mitchell-Blitch to discuss Enhancing Motivation Through the Stages of Change in the Family Business. The seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13th at 11:00 AM EST.

Melissa has Bachelor’s degrees in accounting and business administration, and Master’s degrees in accounting and psychology. Melissa is uniquely suited to understand the complexities of wealth management and business. Having worked with individuals and families across the spectrum of socio-economic status, she understands that we all have something that makes us unique, and this can either leave us feeling isolated and alone, or it can help us connect more authentically with others.

Melissa realizes what impacts the quality of life, relationships, and financial outcomes and understands what is required to be an agent of change