Have you tested your family for talent?
You may know the scenario. You and your family own, develop, and run a business. But the division of responsibilities does not reflect transparent HR considerations.
Perhaps the family head has distributed the posts on the basis of traditions and family dynamics that have nothing to do with competencies. Possibly, random circumstances are at play.
But it does not have to be that way.
Many companies test their employees to identify their talents and match them with the needed teams and the job functions that are to be performed.
A talent test highlights an individual's skills and potential, strengths, and weaknesses - but also how best to assemble a team and make its members work together. And why shouldn't an owner family use talent tests to allocate and fine-tune roles?
Some family businesses still follow a 'rule' according to which the first-born son has to head the company's top management, regardless of whether he would actually be better suited to work in product development, internal service, or HR.
And it is not only in Hollywood movies that this method will create problems for the family and for the operation and development of the company.
Such is the reality - and fortunately so, I am tempted to say.
Because it is sound logic that roles in family businesses should be distributed according to the skills and talents of each family member and the needs of the team, just like in any other company - both for the sake of the company and the individual.
My own experience tells me that many owner families have untapped potential that can be identified if the family is open to creating the best team possible. And to that end, a talent test conducted by an independent consultant can ensure the necessary objectivity.
"But what about those family members who have no talent for leadership?" you may ask.
Large family businesses have as many job functions as other businesses. So there is plenty of opportunity to find a good job match for family members who want to contribute to the company's development with whichever skills they possess.
In the long run, both the company and the individual family member stand to gain from everyone being in their right element - and from the family learning to view each other's talents as complementary rather than competing.