How are organizations and families alike?

Well, both are dealing with authorities and interactions between members of the system. Both systems deal with functioning at different stages in the age of the system.

That is to say there’s a lot more structure on a young family with young kids and a lot more structure for a new company and or a company with new employees. As a system and parts of the system grow older less structure is needed and more free flowing and principle based actions are needed. A teenager might select his own bed time and a seasoned sales rep might select own network rather than have one assigned for him. In both cases of the organization or family system, as the system develops less authority and one up one down relationships are needed.

In both systems, communication is really important. Good communication between any members or a member of the system is crucial. Being able to use “I” statements, avoid blaming and shaming as well as stay away from trashing (“always”, “never”) can help either system runs smoothly. Giving encouragement and being polite go along way in either situation.

Expressing and managing hard emotions well can be very helpful. It can be helpful by making sure people are told the truth but also doing it in the kind of way that you win your point AND the person.

While we usually think of organizations producing a service  or product, we really don’t think of families that way. But think again: Families produce warmth, belonging, discipline and growth. They also produce true learning and character change as well as help launch healthy children into the world. They provide safety and identity as well as producing a sense of enjoyment and challenge. To some degree a good organization can provide these things too. While it is important for individuals to have friendships elsewhere, it is also important for a good organization to have the good qualities of family as well.

Tell us what you think and feel free to add ideas

Does your organization need to gain some of these qualities? Does your family business need to remember to apply these qualities at work and home? We can help with families, work organizations and family businesses

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