Diagnosing Root Cause

Being able to recognize the existence of silent barriers is the first step to determining their Root-Cause. Root Causes are particular circumstances or dilemmas that activate silent barriers.

For example:

  • Dilemma: “We’re trying to talk about succession and the conversations are going nowhere”.
  • Silent Barrier Exposed: The founder is experiencing anxiety, overwhelm and fear.
  • Root Cause Diagnosis: The founder doesn’t have a plan for life in retirement

Prescribing Remedies

To diminish the influence of silent barriers—in this example, the anxiety, overwhelm, and fear being experienced by the founder about facing life in retirement – concerned members of the business-family can begin to explore ways to approach the founder with recommendations for root cause remedies.

Such Remedies As:

  • Identify long-time business advisor or family friend to have initial conversation with founder;
  • Seek executive coach to work with founder to develop retirement plan;
  • Founder, feeling more comfortable with retirement life-plans, initiates meeting with next generation to begin succession dialogue.

‘No More Elephants’ Process

This diagram illustrates an example of how we work with business-families to move successfully past silent barriers and towards harmonious family-business solutions.

Elephant in the room creates barriers to family business harmony