Thought for the month - May 2013

Wearing The Trousers

Hi Tim,

Mum and dad set the enterprise up in the 70's or 80's and now it's the turn of the next generation to have a go at running a business.

There had been an argument about the appearance of the vehicles. Mum says that they are alright as they are with the company name and telephone number. Son Dan is looking at new wraparounds, complete with logo, website address and mobile numbers as part of the marketing strategy.

Dad set up the nursery in 1976 when he built the first greenhouse himself. Now it's a multi million pound enterprise, but he says to his middle aged Managing Director daughter "What's all this nonsense about appraisals? You need to make sure the men are racking those plants."

"And by the way," he added for good measure, "All the serious business we have ever done came out of this little black book." He waved it triumphantly in the air for all the office to see. "Never mind your computers, this has got all the contacts we've ever needed."

These situations are quite common. Parents can be heard to say that "It has worked for the last 30 years so why change it?" The answer of course is that siblings, maybe in their forties or even fifties, are now having to make decisions that will make the business successful forthe next thirty years.

Nine times out of ten it's the siblings that need to be allowed to geton with it, if parents will let them.

All Good Wishes,



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