Family-First or Business-First Revisited

In an earlier blog posting I wrote about distinctions between a family-first and a business-first business. Family-first promises employment to family members based on the family relationship. Business-first promises employment based on the needs of the business and capabilities of the individual; family relationship is secondary.

The question is asked whether family businesses are more sustainable when their focus for growth is placed on the business or on the family. While acknowledging that the health of both are important to multi-generational success, research on family businesses suggests that shifting focus for growth to the family level results in greater entrepreneurial activity and trans-generational value creation.

Said in another way, a family-business is a family focused around a business. There is potential for greater long-term value creation in a business-family that represents a number of businesses centered around a family entity.