How to Make Your Family Business More Professional

This article originally appeared on hbr.org.

Many family businesses take on the distinctive identity, focus, and idiosyncrasies of the family leaders who run them. These norms can be motivating and can create a sense of common purpose.  But they can also make non-family employees feel like they’re missing out on the skills training and career development typically found in more corporate environments. They may suffer from the lack of structure, potential favoritism, and emotional interpersonal dynamics that reflect the preferences and behaviors of the family.

Most family businesses “become more professional” by the third generation, but skilled, solid employees may decide that they’d rather work somewhere that’s more structured, fair, and professional in the meantime. How can the business keep the benefits of a family operation while accelerating the professionalization that will be attractive to both family and non-family members? These six approaches can help:

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Onward and upward —

LK

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