“A family in harmony will prosper in everything.”
– Chinese Proverb
There is one common denominator in the family business system — the human being within the system. Humans have this funny thing called feelings, and feelings, (which are irrational most of the time) show up at times and create chaos and disharmony within the entire system.
The biggest risk to the family, ownership, and operations is ‘behavioural risk’ of the humans within the system. Unaddressed or mismanaged behavioural risk will negatively influence the family dynamics, long term ownership, and business decision making in time. Strained family dynamics cost the business money and will eventually threaten its long term, generational survival.
When the human beings within the family feel safe with each other to have the conversations that need to happen—those that have been avoided or swept under the rug—the issues that have not been, get addressed. This begins the creation of a family culture of safety and trust.
The main reason we don’t feel emotionally safe with one another is because at an emotional level, we don’t feel we can trust that person. One of our basic human needs is to feel safe, we want to feel safe in our environment, within and with our relationships and we want to feel safe with our wealth. The foundation for family harmony is safety, and for one to feel safe they must trust the other person.
With trust in place, operating through a culture of what Veritage calls Safe Space™, any conversation, no matter how delicate or difficult, can be had resulting in increased harmony. This safety in relationship and resultant harmony translates time and again into increased income with greater efficiency and effectiveness — because no longer is time, effort, and emotional drain wasted on dancing around the issue or conversation that needs to happen.
The most valuable asset a family has are the human beings within its system, but it is also the human beings that get in the way of growth in any relationship or any endeavour. Being committed to creating family harmony by fostering a culture of Safe Space™ as its foundation of trust between family members, is the key to long-term sustainability of any family business.