Gry Osnes & Helle Anholm
1-day Professional Development Workshop, PDW3

This educational workshop on coaching and consulting family businesses will consist of a maximum of 12 participants who will bring one case each for exploration.

Aim 1. Enable consultants and coaches to support and work for/with family owners and family businesses. The focus is creating more healthy and resilient strategic capacities for the family and the business. Rivalry, envy, a high degree’s of conflict or stagnation will be seen as the polarity to healthy and resourceful strategic capacity. Rather than a singular focus on the destructive emotions the participant will learn to identify resources and to work with playfulness, curiosity and

Aim 2. Explore reflective capacity: Thoughts about projections and/or identification with the family firm. Issues of own family structure, role and own “family business”.

Aim 3. Introduce an approach that builds on a transitional approach (Winnicott, 1971) and is adapting Eliot Jaques work on strategic capability into a family business context where the time, and complexity of issues are explored. The latter is reworked so as to adapt to a non-hierarchial but fluid organisational structure often seen in family businesses (Osnes, 2016). This will be applied to different themes emerging from the participants and could be in the domain of: management of the family, the relationship between the family and the business and leadership of the business.

Facilitators will be drawn from a group of consultants who have worked to develop the approach for years: Gry Osnes, Helle Anholm. Depending on number of participant other facilitators can be added.

The cases a participant could bring along could be a client case – ones own or another family owner/business. It could build on a mini-study where the participant interviews one or several members of a family owner or a family business. Each participant would need to prepare a summary of about 300-500 words, submitted before the workshop, for distribution.

Entrepreneurship or succession?
Notions about succession are often limited to the transfer of a single top executive role. Yet other options are possible. It is best illustrated drawing on cases from family ownership and family top leadership roles. Elsewhere there are plenty of examples of how successions in family ownership and businesses fail. Departing from this limited framing, and building on previous chapters, I will show how successions are made into strategic processes. The family can leverage on existing assets and expertise when entrepreneurial alternatives are being created as succession strategies. Developing such imaginative entrepreneurial alternatives is not a new development, but is often lost in succession studies. The examples highlighting the importance of strategic choice, and shifting between them, are shown in figure 2.