Consultancy methodology

Consultancy is split into three stages, at the end of which the family decides whether or not to continue under its own steam or to request further involvement by the consultants.

First Stage

1.- A decision is made as result of preliminary conversations between the consultants and the family as to whether to make an evaluation of the adequacy of the structure of family-business relations and the possible need for change. The decision to proceed with an evaluation needs to count on support from an overwhelming majority of family members.

2.- Drawing up of a work plan, budget and proposals by two senior consultants who would work as part of a team should the family commission  them to do the work.

3.- Semi-directed interview with each member of the family. The interviewees are then asked to complete the FBK Diagnostic.

4.- An expert system processes the completed diagnostics and, among other things, evaluates: (i) how complex family and business are; (ii) the extent to which the structure of family-business relations and family members' dominant interests shapes perceptions of  the firm.

5.- The FBK Consultants Committee analyses the information gleaned and agrees on the diagnostic and proposals to be put to the family.

6.- The consultants draw up a wide-ranging diagnostic that describes the present situation and proposes various alternatives for the future. The report is presented to the family as a whole and a period of reflection is recommended. One of the document's aims is to faciltate family consensus on the current situation.

7.- Consensus is achieved through one or more meetings with the family. The family is helped in choosing a model for the future. This stage ends with the choice of model. 

Second Stage

Given consensus on the current situation and the family's choice of future model, the next step is to determine the best path from the existing situation to the desired model.

1.-  Based on the FBK-Diagnostics completed by the family, the consultants identify each and all of the structural elements in the family-company relations that need alteration to achieve the family's choice of model for its business. Priorities are set.

2.- In successive meetings between the consultants and the family (or a committee appointed by the family for this purpose), agreements are reached on how changes are to be made in relations between the family and business.

3.- As events unfold, it is decided whether agreements should be put into effect immediately or should be documented  and follow a further established protocol.

4.- The second stage ends when agreement has been reached on how to move things on from the present situation to the chosen model for the family business.

Third Stage

If the family so wishes, FBK partners will take an active role in putting the agreements into effect.
 
FBK partners' will personally implement the agreements if the tasks required match their skills. Often implementation involves working with various kinds of experts, for example, lawyers, tax specialists, and head-hunters.
This stage ends when the family considers it can carry the process forward on its own.
Copyright © 2009 F|B|K Family Business Knowledge
URL: http://www.fbkonline.com/index.php?consultancy-methodology