We have recently worked with the second generation of a family-owned very successful automotive distribution business. The mission mostly focused on putting in place the tools and systems to resolve conflicts between 3 brothers who present a wide age gap, with the elder brother in charge of the family business for over 30 years, while the two younger brothers joined since 8 and 4 years.
While the skills of the brother are complimentary and all useful for the success of the business, the conflict originates from a high incompatibility between the brothers’ character and management style, and from . The elements of the solution concentrate on finding structure that allow the maximum autonomy for business units managers while enhancing their accountability. This is being achieved through a restructuring of business units, assigning a Manager to each, and clearly stating which decisions they can take alone, and those that require them to seek the Board’s approval. Working with the family members to limit interactions between the rival brothers to meetings of the Board that we created with the presence of outside directors that could bring in neutral opinions in case of dead-lock for some decisions.