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How to Transform Your Family Business into a Peak Performing Family Business

By Kyle Danner

Moving from “business as usual” to a peak performing family business is no small feat. Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared strategies on how to make that switch. The strategies are based on the 5 principles of:

  1. Know Yourself
  2. Know Your Family
  3. Think Big Picture
  4. Build Value
  5. Take the Long View


These principles are a way to think about and organize the next steps for the family business, whether that may be growing the business, passing it onto the next generation, or even selling it.

Each of these strategies involves a great deal of effort. The thing to remember is that becoming a peak performing family business is a process. It involves a lot of change, the second least favorite thing human beings enjoy doing next to managing conflict. It’s also important to remember that, even with the best intentions for the business and family, you will get pushback. You will get resistance from all kinds of people — even your most supportive relatives.

So how can you help your employees embrace this change? How can you keep the transition as smooth as possible? Below, I’ll outline three simple steps you can follow to help the family get on board with the transition so you can reduce resistance as much as possible.

3 Ways to Get The Family On Board With Changing Into A Peak Performing Business

Human beings, for the most part, prefer things to be predictable. Even with all the talk about embracing change, the human brain craves certainty. It wants to know where it’s going, how it’s going to get there, and what to expect along the way. 

So, when you start to introduce change, paint as vivid of a picture as possible. The clearer the picture, the more likely the buy-in — and the more likely you’ll get there because everyone will see where you’re going.

Of course, you can’t predict the future. There will be obstacles and pitfalls that no one anticipated. If you ignore or gloss over that possibility, you’re fooling yourself, and you’re doing your family and business a huge disservice. 

So be transparent. Admit that you won’t have all the answers. This is hard if you’ve been the person in charge since day one, where everyone looks to you to make the big decisions. This is also hard if you’re NextGen, one of the kids surrounded by seasoned family members and legacy employees.

But admitting, “I don’t know how things will end up” is not only brave. It’s also an invitation for others to step forward and make a contribution. That’s a sign to you of who’s willing to help you lead. 

And this last piece is the toughest. You must accept that some people in the family business might not need to stay there. Those who got you where you are today may not be the ones to get you where you need to go. 

That’s gut-wrenching, isn’t it? Especially if some of those folks are family or long term employees who feel like family. And that’s okay. This is an opportunity for everyone to find the path that best suits them. 

Take it from someone who left the family business to find a more appropriate fit. It does get better. And you can use the resources of the business to make the transition out of the company as smooth as possible. 

To help you make this switch to becoming a peak performing family business, here are some resources on what to anticipate when you start this process:

I also recommend you consider scheduling a 90-minute meeting. One of the biggest pieces to becoming a peak performing family business is having the right people in the right seats. Unfortunately, as someone inside the business, you might be too close to know when someone isn’t the right fit.

I can help. As an Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Implementer™, I’ll help your leadership define the vision for where your business is headed. Then, I’ll provide resources to help the team determine whether that vision matches where they see themselves in the future. 

Together, we can ensure your business stays on track, and your team stays on the same page as you transition to bigger and better things.

Schedule A 90-Minute Meeting

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