August 10, 2011
February 27, 2011
The New York Times ran an article on Nita Werners Family Business journey at Ornelas Enterprise.
The journey for most family members seeking to enter the family business can take several paths and there are always common challenges irrespective of the business or the family member.
A common challenge is the communications styles of family members. We born with a certain temperament and our communications styles are embedded in that temperament.
After working for a car dealership she decided there was no real career opportunity where she was and decided to work in the family business. An electronic assembly and manufacturing company. Nita admits that after 5 years working with her parents things were not all that rosy.
“We slammed doors a lot, and whoever yelled the loudest won any argument. Dad came from a purchasing and sales background, Mom had a manufacturing and quality background, and my background was accounting and general business. We just weren’t communicating, so we called in a family business counselor.”
The family business expert helped them unveil differences amongst themselves. Her dad and Nita, “wanted just the facts, and we talk almost in bullet points. My mother, on the other hand, likes to explain a bit before getting to the point.” Her behavior dealing with mom was evident to the employees and they followed suit… not a good thing for balancing the Family and Business needs.
Communications can be divided broadly between Concrete and Abstract. Concrete communicators are focused on the reality of facts and figures. David Kiersey defines this as the who, what, when, where and how. Abstract communicators deal with ideas, dreams, all the why’s, if’s, and what-might-be’s of life. Concrete people talk about reality, while Abstract people talk about ideas.
We al possess some of both but have a preference for one or the other.
Communications styles are important to understand as family members. In the family business they are critical. Why? Because the family business has the unique overlap of Family, Business and Ownership (see the 3 Ring Model Diagram here) which in and of themselves, each element competes. If you add different communications styles AND family members are not aware of the Concrete vs. Abstract difference, it exponentially compounds the problems in running the family business.
Using tools such as The Keirsey Temperament Sorter are simple and quick ways to understand the differences and work on accomodating both styles for a more harmonious and sustainable Family Business.
All the best !
January 21, 2011
In the New York Times Your The Boss Blog, Paul Downs posted Twenty-Five Years, and I’m Still Standing.
The essence is he has survived the ups and downs of business after 25 years and is wondering what is next? OK… we all are.
Well if a highway is a metaphor for the business environment, then standing implies the potential of colliding with traffic going in either direction? The white line in the center of the road is narrow and easy to move off of… yikes! My take is this: Small Businesses need advice and skills NOT to stand but to move ahead.
Small Businesses for the most part Read the rest of this entry »
January 19, 2011
The New York Times Your the Boss Blog had a post by Jay Goltz, The Old Man and the Internet.
Jay’s comment was “This latest twist, becoming a Web marketer, is different. This time, it is not just about people and problems. It’s about understanding the realities of a whole new world.It crept up on me, this whole Internet thing. It’s probably the most powerful development since the Industrial Revolution, but I was a little slow to see it coming.”
The post did address the technical aspects of web development that make our heads spin but as with many small business sites, marketing is addressed inadequately as a corner stone of a successful business. It should be the basis for a web site and social media effort.
I attended a seminar organized by NJ.com, which is the web site for a host of leading New Jersey newspapers… the host was their chief of Search Engine Optimization and it was a revealing
Read the rest of this entry »