Executive Briefing on Family Business Dynamics for the Boston Office of CIGNA Financial Advisors

Michael Sales recently discussed some of his ideas about the leadership and management of family owned businesses with a group of fifteen CIGNA advisors. For fifteen years, Michael has been writing and speaking about the unique opportunities and challenges facing closely held corporations. His approach is based on a strong body of experience and research. Not only did Michael grow up in a highly entrepreneurial family, but he has also had many family business clients. Since many of their clients are family business owners, the CIGNA Advisors were quite interested in the framework laid out during the presentation.

The tension between head and heart presents the family owned firm with a particularly complex set of stresses and possibilities. Business is associated rationality and goal orientation. Family members have to establish and achieve expectations for their role in the enterprise. On the other hand, the family is usually thought of as a place where members will be cared for and about, no matter what how well they do their jobs. These two impulses frequently collide and produce patterns of teamwork and effectiveness in the family firm ... or not.

See the slides used at this presentation and other information about New Context's work with closely held companies.