Common Causes of Family Business Conflict & What to Do About Them.
Family Business Mediator Video No 24: Confusing Roles: Owners, Leaders, Managers & Employees. The Dotted Line!
By Jon kenfield. Solutionist.
• Conflict flows from confusion and attacks.
• A fundamental source of confusion is lack of role clarity.
• Another revolves around unjustified change. That’s not
the same as unwarranted change – unjustified means “not explained, therefore not accepted or supported”.
• According to business best practice, leaders, managers and employees all have clearly definable roles in a business. Clarity provides Certainty & Confidence.
• Owners should be placed off to the side in any Org Chart. They have no definable role in the business, and their interests can clash with business imperatives.
• Owner interventions also confuse everybody in the chain of command.
Create an Org Chart with a dotted line separating strategic & governance roles from operational responsibilities.
Solution: Create an Org Chart with a dotted line separating strategic & governance roles from operational responsibilities.
• Leaders (directors) should stay and operate above the dotted line (governance).
• Everybody else operates below the line (doing the doing).
• Leaders can go below if they have a specific operational roles.
• Develop detailed job descriptions and appropriate KPIs so everybody knows what’s expected of them and how their performance will be measured.
• Establish discipline in the business structure – above and below the dotted line. And have an isolation box for owners to stay inside!
• All business employees need to perform. When owners try to re-write that rule (perhaps in support of a non-performing family member) business systems and discipline suffer.