Functional Family Business? I Believe In Miracles!

USA Wins Against Soviet Union in Ice HockeyLast night I watched “The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us,” The show opened with a recap of the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey team story. I remember watching the win over the Russian team, with my college roommate, in our dorm rooms. Lisa and I knocked over our lawn chairs chanting, with the rest of the country, “I believe in miracles!”

I still believe in miracles. I believe – brace yourself for this! – that family members can work together..peacefully, productively and happily. And the “miracle” is a sound, simple business system, one that worked for the 1980’s US Hockey Team. The Organization Chart.

Coach Herb Brooks worked with his assistant coaches and perhaps some of the players as he refined and defined the positions. Then, he assigned players to the positions. Coach Brook’s job was to structure the team, and to bring out each individual’s best performance so as to add to the overall success of the team. The ultimate goal for every Olympic team is to win the Gold. And in 1980, the US Hockey Team achieved that goal!

Business, like Hockey, is not a democracy. Someone has to be in charge. Someone has to lead. In your Family Business, someone has to lay claim to the Presidency. If that’s you, your job is to develop and lead the team to realize the company’s goals.

Business author Jim Collins, in his terrific book Good to Great, suggests, “Get the right people on the bus. Get the wrong people off the bus. Then, put the right people in the right seats.”

An Organization Chart is a graphic representation of the divisions of your company, arranged according to reporting relationship. In other words, the Organization Chart lists who is responsible for what and who reports to whom. The Organization Chart represents the “seats on the bus”, the positions on the team.

A winning team generates energy…and makes you want to be a part of it! You can’t build a team. A team happens. Team members perform individually, yet are dependent on the other members for their success. A winning team is the result of each individual contributing in their own way to the achievement of their common goal.

“But…He’s Family!

Does it make you cringe to think about imposing the formal structure of an Organization Chart on your family members? Fear not! The Organization Chart can be a wonderful tool. Recalling my many, many jobs, I can count on three fingers the number of times I actually knew for what I was responsible and to whom I was required to report. It’s confusing to have someone tell you what to do just to have another person tell you to do just the opposite. And that happens a lot in family businesses.

Do You Have An Organization Chart?

Is it up to date? Is it known? Or have you been meaning to create one for…forever? Let’s do it together. Join in on our next Online Workshop: Who Does What: Building An Organizational Chart For Your Biz! I’ll bring everything you’ll need to assemble – in real time via GoToMeeting – your customized Org Chart. Bring key team members, too, all for one no-brainer price of $19.95.

We were thrilled when Mike Eruzioni called to his team to join him on the Gold Medal podium. Did you cry during their Gold Medal ceremony…all of them singing the national anthem, loudly and proudly? I did. The real miracle started about a year earlier, on a dry erase board in the locker room, as they identified the positions on the team. Who Does What is no small thing.

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Ellen Rohr, The Plumber's Wife Turned Business Makeover Expert teaches business basics. Ellen specializes in helping business owners put simple business plans together. She teaches them how to make more money and how to stay focused and profitable. Ellen makes ordinarily dry-as-dust business planning powerful, easy and fun. You can find Ellen on Facebook, Google+, or visit the contact us page.

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About Ellen Rohr

Ellen Rohr, The Plumber's Wife Turned Business Makeover Expert teaches business basics. Ellen specializes in helping business owners put simple business plans together. She teaches them how to make more money and how to stay focused and profitable. Ellen makes ordinarily dry-as-dust business planning powerful, easy and fun. You can find Ellen on Facebook, Google+, or visit the contact us page.
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