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How to Avoid the Impact of Social Distancing by David Werdiger

With many people forced into #remotework and/or #shelterinplace, it is essential to understand the impact of the family dynamic on a business. Besides the obvious space and time-management issues, conflict in family business happens differently, therefore must be resolved differently.

Disputes within a family don’t escalate suddenly. They are often built on years of relationship sentiment that is latent or suppressed. With the current #pandemic the triggers for those conflicts can easily be fast-tracked and may have long term impact both the #familyculture and the #futureofwork.

These conflicts have a factual or financial component, as well as an emotional component, so both aspects must be considered when seeking to resolve. Often, the emotional component is what is at the heart of the conflict. A family is not a meritocracy. Family decisions have a very different basis than business decisions. When those two decision processes lead to different outcomes, conflict is inevitable.

3 Things to focus on at times like this

  • develop skills for future – many opportunities for online learning
  • become 360-degree humans – think about purpose and how to help others through this
  • entertain innovative solutions – crisis is also opportunity

Having independent voices – around the board table, or generally advising the family – can be very helpful to unpack complex, multi-layered issues. They can also assist with the establishment of more formal (but not necessarily too formal) governance and dispute resolution processes.

David Werdiger is a Familosopher, the Founder and Principal in Nathanson Pearson Family Advisory and Adjunct Professor

Specialties Include:







Familosophy (noun): the critical study of the principles and concepts of family dynamics and intergenerational issues, with a view to improving them and providing guidance in practical affairs.
origin: portmanteau of family and philosophy

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