The Family Business Doctor

The Problem

Born of hope, effort and often brilliance, family firms can be wonderful delights, crucibles of despair and everything in between. Some find joy in work with their children and family members.  Others find endless conflict.

Conflict, whenever present, is never minor.  Conflict in a family business is rooted in the longstanding painful family stories of love, hope, rivalry, disappointments, slights, jealousies and all the stuff of longstanding family strife. Like an abscess, these conflicts smolder beneath the surface, in seeming silence, until the business begins to suffer, a family member is no longer able to stand the pain or both.


The Solution

As The Family Business Doctor I listen to the business’s multiple, seemingly separate complaints, and usually hear them as emanating from a single set of core issues. This nuanced way of thinking is an extension of my medical training where I learned that multiple, seemingly unrelated symptoms usually have a single unifying cause.

In addition to my medical training I bring my psychoanalytic experience, which is an understanding of the emotional nature of people, to the conflict and struggles within the family business.  My psychoanalytic orientation helps me explore, unearth, and identify the hidden and not-so-hidden elements that sit at the emotional core of the business’s problem.  What I discover in my exploration is that issues of governance, finance, power, control, rivalry and transition are the current battlefields where the ancient family struggles are fought anew.  There is a prevailing myth among family business people that they can leave their family issues on the other side of the door when they come to work. Rarely, of course, does that happen.

For those who are ready to solve family business tensions, improve family business communications, and enhance the bottom line, the Family Business Doctor is ready for you.