Question:


We all seem to get along.  Why should I be concerned about managing my family members?


Mike's Answer:


Because one of these days, there will be an issue or problem with a family member that will create relationship issues.  And the last thing that anyone wants to see is a rift in the family.  Discussing the issues ahead of time and establishing policies and guidelines that govern family members helps to diffuse problems; often before the problem comes to fruition.  In example if everyone has agreed that the company will hire the best qualified applicant regardless of their affiliation with the family, then family members know what to expect.


Question:


I purchased several books on family business. They seem to almost be a "how to" guide for owners of family businesses.  How useful are they?


Mike's Answer:


Very useful.  They help you gain an understanding of the basic issues and challenges.  Some might even suggest specific policies to adopt. However, I caution you to also understand that the process of discussing the issues and the development of a policy with other family members is just as important as the policy itself. 


Question:


So we adopted a Code of Conduct policy and my brother ignores it all the time. What can we do?


Mike's Answer:


A policy should also include penalty provisions that identifies what will happen to a family member if they don't follow the policy.  The penalty should be tempered by the nature of the infraction, however serious violations may require serious penalties.  I know of two family businesses that expelled family members because of serious violations of family policies.  In one instance, it involved self dealing and a conflict of interest.  In the other case, it was related to unsatisfactory job performance and insubordination.   Would you ignore an employee who steals from you?  Or a family member that intentionally doesn't do their job?  I hope your answer is no. 


Question:


You are located in Hilo and I'm in Honolulu (or Maui, or Kauai).  If I decide to use your services, will I be charged for your travel costs?


Mike's Answer:


No.  I don't charge for travel expenses.  Because of that, I will try to consolidate meetings as much as possible.


Frequently Asked Questions