In March I was invited to run a session for Family Business United at their flagship national conference in London focused on governance and the family family business.
During this interactive session with family input from members of The Entertainer and Robinsons Brewery, we spent time exploring what the term ‘governance’ means to different families and how to start to build an appropriate framework to support the individual needs of the family and the business, and looking at how they interact with each other.
Governance of each family firm will vary to some extent due to the nature of the family, its purpose and values, the time that it has been in existence as a business, the number of shareholders and the complexity of the business too. However, there are commonalities in the approach to governance and there were a number of things that the delegates could all take away:
- the need for well developed and understood governance, including a clear vision and roles
- clear and ongoing communication with the stakeholders in an appropriate manner
- the need to review and revise documents such as the Articles of Association, Family Charter etc as time goes by
- the need to be challenged and to formulate an aligned vision for the family and the business
- the need for family members to recognise the roles of the various governance procedures
Family businesses evolve over time and the governance needs to evolve as well. When did you last consider the overall governance of your family business and is it still fit for purpose today?