A cornerstone of effective family business governance is developing strong boards of directors. 董事会中与家族企业绩效和持续性相关的一个因素是外部独立董事的加入. Another factor that has not received as much attention, is the importance of developing family members into strong directors, capable of complementing the independent outside directors. 这些“统治家族所有者”和“非家族成员”在家族企业的成功和延续中发挥着关键作用.

A natural first phase in family business governance is to create a family-only board. These initial boards are usually comprised of family-member owners working in the business. 这种只由家族成员组成的董事会,往往包括在企业中工作的年轻一代家族成员,这些人可能还没有所有权. 通常, 这一阶段的家族治理成员(无论是所有者还是非所有者)都局限于家族企业现有产品的成长和运营,外部影响有限.

“通过适当选择家族成员和独立董事,所有董事会成员的作用都得到了极大的提升.”

As the business develops further into the second and third generation, 越来越多的外部影响产生了更大的影响. 当发生转换, 公司治理通常是从家庭董事会演变而来, 向顾问委员会, to a fiduciary board with family members as the majority, and then to a fiduciary board with non-family members as the majority (see the figure 1). Each stage represents a meaningful change from the previous one.

图1

从差异中获得力量

作为一个例子, 欧文座椅公司在100多年前成立时,是一个仅由家族成员组成的董事会,如今已演变为一个由4名家族成员(两名家族成员在公司内部,两名家族成员在公司外部)和4名独立的外部董事组成的受托董事会. This blend of board members has been effectively governing Irwin for the past several years. The two family members in the business have a deep understanding of the business, 而在企业之外的两位家族成员和在其他组织工作的独立董事会成员带来了独特的观点. 在最近的一次评估中, there were several contributions the board members and executives cited as valuable:

  • 充当参谋
  • Creating a level of accountability, particularly to the annual plan
  • 协助银行和金融结构
  • 就遗产规划事宜提供指导
  • 帮助建立股东关系
  • Giving encouragement and support, as well as challenging certain initiatives
  • Providing in-depth support when critical events occur, most recently the turn-around of one division

信托董事会的理事家族成员和独立董事都有一些相似的角色和责任, 包括:

  • 选择和解雇公司官员
  • 设置官补偿
  • 宣布股息
  • Holding management accountable for its performance

However, many family boards, like Irwin, take on more expansive roles, 包括:

  • 预算审批
  • 发展长期战略方向
  • Serving on committees that oversee the audit and compensation process
  • 协助制定政策
  • Approving significant capital expenditures, including acquisitions

将专业知识与洞察力结合起来

最终, 高性能板的关键, 无论是顾问还是受托人, 是世卫组织坐在董事会桌旁吗. 与所服务的家族企业相关的技能和经验的互补组合已被证明是持续的家族企业成功的一个强有力的指标. While having specific industry or functional experience is important, 同样重要的是,包括成员谁有不同的行业或组织经验和各种功能专业知识, 包括金融, 市场营销, 销售, 操作, 人力资源和信息技术.

适当选择家族成员和独立董事,大大提高了董事会成员的作用. 不太可能所有的家族董事, 尤其是那些没有被雇佣的人, will possess the same level of skills and experience that independent directors bring to the table. An equally important attribute for board effectiveness is a profound understanding of the owning family. 因此, 最好为家族董事建立资格和培训,以确保他们能够在有独立董事的董事会中有效发挥作用.

表1是一个列举了家族成员和独立董事会成员之间独特差异的资格的例子,一个家族企业将其作为选择合格董事会成员的准则.

表1

董事会成员资格
 

家庭董事会成员独立的董事会成员
代表家族股东: Able to effectively carry out the responsibilities a director has to all shareholders; not only a family branch.高级领导经历: Successfully performed at senior management/leadership positions (CEO, COO, CFO, EVP, VP, 等.).
完整性: Acts discreetly with confidential data; a trusted and respected member of the family.董事会经验: 曾在营利性和非营利性委员会任职.
财务智慧: 对财务报表有较强的理解,并有运用数字帮助决策的分析经验.行业经验: 从事或了解住宅和商业项目的施工流程.
业务的理解: 有良好商业判断的经验, 基本的行业知识, 竞争对手, 客户, 产品 & service offerings, the business model, company strategies and key metrics.在职或近期退休: A thirst for learning and still engaged to some level in the business world, either working full or part-time and/or serving as a consultant/advisor or board member.
家庭的敏感性: Sensitive to the nature of the family dynamics, and knowledge of family issues and idiosyncrasies. Open to concerns or ideas expressed by other family members.家族企业的理解: Familiarity with the culture and unique complexities of a closely-held family business.
领导能力和外部经历: 在之前的职位上取得的成就和/或在外部的经验,带来了对科学等领域的看法, 金融, legal, 市场营销, 或全球发展.战斗伤疤: Struggled through difficult times leading a business through a severe downturn, 高层次的增长, 或行业混乱.
战略思想: Able to focus more on strategic issue resolution than tactical details.连续经历: 参与企业的代际传承.
外交技巧: Possess an ability to assertively disagree with enough forcefulness to be heard, 没有攻击, 促进有吸引力的意见交流.声誉: Well-respected in given industry and community; matches up with Company’s values: humility, 仆人领导, 基于事实的决策, 等.
沟通技巧: Possess an ability to clearly articulate concepts and events, an intuitive understanding of timing and frequency of communication to maximize trust & 信心.适应性强: 能够快速适应不断变化的市场动态的战略思维,并在需要改变的情况下迅速行动.


现实地提高门槛

强大的家族企业董事会有意识地为家族成员和外部董事制定了独特的标准. To raise the bar on board member skills it is realistic to apply more demanding “business experience” qualifications for outside independent board members; and more demanding “family dynamics experience” qualifications for family members. 创建这些资格,然后将其应用于遴选董事会成员的过程大大增加了长期连续性的可能性.

文章中选择性数据来源:
发展起来,我.病房里,J. & 布朗·德·庞蒂特. (2011). 建立一个成功的家族企业董事会. 纽约. 帕尔格雷夫麦克米伦.