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So, you check your schedule and see you have an afternoon meeting, a brainstorm session on branding. Nothing peculiar about that. Just an average day at the office. But this isn’t the office. The meeting location is your kitchen table and the attendees consists of your family members…
The Wall Street Journal recently published an essay on the benefits of running a family like a business. And why shouldn’t you apply workplace solutions to the challenges families face in the home?
The general belief is that many companies fail if the make up is one or two charismatic leaders, but the others in the company don’t understand or practice the company’s core values or make decisions based on the company’s brand. This new practice engages all family members and gives them a seat at the decision table.
Families are using a progressive program called “agile development” that has quickly spread from manufacturers abroad to startups in Silicon Valley. It's a system of “group dynamics in which workers are organized into small teams, hold daily progress sessions and weekly reviews”.
These group dynamics move away from the “waterfall approach” of management, where orders come from the top down. It is more of a collaborative process, where decisions are made after group conversation where all parties get to weight in. Gone may be the days of the age old parental response, “because I said so!”
Jim Collins, the author of renowned business strategy book “Good to Great, points out that great organizations “preserve the core”. He encourages families to develop a mission statement and using the statement as a foundation for decision making for all members of the family. Children can then work their way through problems and base decisions on how the solution relates back to their family’s unique brand. It creates a “touchstone” for the family and is a great way of highlighting what the family is doing right.
If your family had a brand, what would it be??? Would you be open to drafting a mission statement with your family?