“There are too many examples of family businesses failing due not because they’re not a profitable business, but because the family owners cannot bear to be in the same room together. As future majority shareholders of a business that directly employs 130+ people, the responsibility of inheriting these shares required more than a few casual conversations. As our family business is transitioning from the second to third generation, our siblings chose to go through the journey of developing a family constitution to ensure our relationships could be sustained through this succession.
The search to find the right person to guide us through this process, saw us meeting experts from the big end of town; from two of the big four accounting firms. I’d spoken with other families who had undergone a similar process, so knew a connection with the facilitators was imperative. We decided to entrust the process to Nicole, who teamed up with a mature gentleman associate who complimented her skills and style. Yes, money was a consideration in deciding who to choose, but more so it was the feeling that Nicole & her associate were a good fit with our family group.
We knew the journey of developing the document was the key, not the document itself. The conversations about where we saw the business going, what our family values were and details like family employment; these were gold in discovering a new side to ourselves. Nicole used her experience as a DiSC practitioner to explore our personality types with us. I completed the DiSC profiling as a cynic but appreciated the outcome and learnt a lot about people I’ve known all my life. I learnt quite a bit about myself too!
Nicole set us up with a difficult conversation template to help us through those elephant-in-the-room chats, that would otherwise have festered. Nicole kept us focussed as we pushed through to complete the process because, yes it was challenging at times.
We are confident that the long-term outcomes will outweigh the short-term investment. It took us 13 months from start to finish, with Nicole & her associate guiding us through to the signing of a constitution. Our family are closer and more understanding of each other. We all feel that we’re in a stronger position to successfully navigate the future challenges of being sibling shareholders. Best of all, Iâ€™ve found myself a new friend!
Thanks, Nicole, for helping us BeMore. ”
*confidentiality required due to nature of assignment