Family Business Mediation Video No 39: Ownership Vs Stewardship. By Jon Kenfield. Solutionist.

Common Causes of Family Business Conflict & What to Do About Them.

Family Business Mediation Video No 39. Ownership Vs Stewardship

By Jon Kenfield. Solutionist.

• Ownership entitles business owners to do whatever they like with the business.

• Ownership is here and now / short term, selfish thinking.

• Stewardship requires owners to hold and improve the business for the sake of current and future generations.

• Stewardship has a long term, altruistic focus.

• Conflict arises when some family members regard themselves as owners, and want to act as such, while others see themselves as stewards, and want to act as such.


• Hold a Family meeting.

• Explain the difference between Owners and Stewards and ask everyone to identify which camp they’re in.

• Develop a long term Family Plan, including intentions for the business, based on above decisions.

• Defuse conflict by recognising the different focus and responding to whichever is chosen for the family.

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