Family Business

How Do You Manage Differences of Opinions in Family Business?


2 min




Scott Carr describes three phases of presenting a new idea in a family business in order to minimize conflict and resistance.


Scott Carr


« Back to Catalogue


How to manage decision-making and differing in opinions, that’s not easy, whether you’re in a family, in a business, or anything that you do. I remember being at work, even yesterday, and there was an argument in a meeting and, I felt like I was in a family having a casual dinner table conversation, I think its tough either way. But when you want to actually change something or you want to actually have something happen, I think it needs to happen in phases, and I think whoever is bringing it about needs to understand that this isn’t an ‘I’m going to walk in here with an idea and a process that I think is going to work and try to jam it down their throats’, that never works that well. I think the first phase is, phase one, test the grounds, don’t necessarily talk about the topic you want ... View More to bring up, talk about the surrounding things. So for example if you wanted to talk about opening a new store, talk about the locations that are available around. Oh, that’s a cool location available, kind of test out what people are already thinking in their minds. Phase 2 is maybe bring it up informally, not as particularly what you want to do, but kind of get their opinion, see where the resistance is, identify some of the key problems that they’re going to have, and without you necessarily saying they are your ideas or what you want to do, kind of let them, lead them to it, see if they have the same logic, or see if maybe your idea is flawed and they see something else. And then I guess phase 3 would be to actually bring it forward and making sure that the key parties that may have objections don’t have objections anymore, if you’ve dealt with those before you bring up the idea. So it kind of brings everyone on the same page, a bit slower process, but at the same time, you’re able to push it through with much less resistance and with much less fighting, so I think it’s, yeah, bringing it about in phases, so testing the ground, testing the environment, testing the idea itself, finding the resistance, and then three, bringing it forward with a full-fledged plan and actual support from your family.