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|Tuesday, October 22, 2013|
BY TOM COX | BUSINESS TIPS CONTRIBUTOR
I was recently asked:
Our family is in diversified businesses across our state.
We don’t insist that family members (3rd generation) join the businesses, but they always have a place if they choose to.
Unfortunately, this has led to two problems. One, younger family members want to start near the top. Two, they take us for granted, and use the business to launch their careers outside the business.
We want to solve this problem by putting a merit selection process in place. How can we add merit selection in a family business? Your advice is appreciated.
What you’re proposing is, creating a new culture (or changing the existing one) where merit selection is the new rule.
Let me suggest some steps. Implementing those steps is NOT trivial, so don’t take my brevity the wrong way.
Step 1, get written agreement from the elder family members on the PRINCIPLES to be followed — i.e. merit based selection; roles assigned based on proven ability and the true needs of the business(es); everyone starts at the bottom.
Step 2, empower a group of elders and trusted non-family members to spin up a PROCESS that embodies those Principles. Bake it into your bylaws. (For example, you might allow a family member to prevail in a hiring situation where they are otherwise a tie, but NOT allow them to prevail if they come in 2nd.) Make your Process extremely transparent. Expect family members to over-achieve or leave.
Step 3, put yourselves through it. Seriously. Like, resign your current role and re-apply for it and see if you get it back or not. (Or some comparable show of seriousness and faith in the process.)
Without the first step, you don’t have a compelling WHY driving the change. Without the third step, leaders aren’t ‘walking the talk’ and nobody believes in it.
Step 4, turn the Principles into pithy statements that you hold yourself to, like “everyone starts at the bottom” and “all work is honorable work.” Make sure the Elders go sweep floors and wash toilets once a quarter. Soak the Principles into the Culture.
Let me know if you want more details.
Tom Cox is a Beaverton consultant, author and speaker. He coaches CEOs on how to boost performance by building workplace trust.
Monday, January 26, 2015
The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
BY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Startups in the growth phase are associated with a fresh infusion of capital — human and financial — a curiosity factor and products to disrupt the market and drive demand. Portland’s economy gives off the same aroma.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
BY TAMSEN LEACHMAN | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
It is important to understand the EEOC’s priorities, and ensure that your leadership understands the shifting expectations of regulators and the heightened standards to which you (and they) may be held.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Multilevel marketing, health claims and zyto scanner biofeedback machines: How dōTERRA thrives in Oregon.
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The Northwest Environmental Business Council previews the 2015 legislative agenda as Hatch Oregon celebrates Oregon's new community crowdfunding rules.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
A place-based multimodal transportation plan for Mt. Hood is long overdue.
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