Our issues were not so much really about the business, because it runs itself. Our issues were down at an operational level. There are seven members of the family unit and my sister and I were joint MDs of the family business.
My parents had retired from the business but were struggling with relinquishing control, due to the conflict that existed between the siblings.
The issues were centred around the relationship between the seven family members: my parents, myself and my four younger sisters.
My parents and one sister had drifted off away from the group, which splintered the family into two power bases. When this happened, we all knew that things weren’t working and it had the potential to destroy the business.
What we needed urgently was to get the family unit back together, which is when we realised we needed Philip and Family Business Central.
To get the ball rolling, Philip interviewed everyone individually (and their partners) in order to pick apart and identify where the schism had come from.
The outcome from this process was that Philip was able to then figure out how to get people back talking to one another.
Over a period of six years he managed to fix the problem. We’re considerably better off than we were. Our family is 95 percent of the way back to being a harmonious unit. There have been changes, but overall stuff really seems to have been resolved.
Before Family Business Central intervened, we already had a family constitution. However, Philip took us all back through the process to re-evaluate our values and what we wanted from each other and the business. He helped us look at the constitution objectively to see whether it was still relevant.
He gave us the space to look at and understand the differences.
Philip’s biggest achievement was bringing our family together. Throughout the process, I watched my parents become more confident with their decision to step away from the company.
As a result, they’ve handed over more control to the siblings. This has only happened thanks to the work of Philip and Family Business Central.
The business is now at a point where my sisters and I hold our own council meetings and a future owners’ forum.
We know that we’re all shareholders of the business and we’re putting that responsibility into practice. Philip is helping us step up to the plate through leadership and business training.
He is teaching us how to make informed, intelligent business decisions.
He’s also helping out the family with the matter of wills and estate planning.
He also puts us through simulations of difficult scenarios as training.
He continues to raise the bar!