New SDL White Paper Explores Shared Leadership Trends in Family-Owned Businesses

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Shared leadership of corporate leadership within private industry is increasingly common; management and succession planning trend important and complex in family-owned businesses.

Shared Leadership In Family-Owned Businesses

In recent years, shared leadership at the top of organizations within private industry is increasingly common. This management and succession planning trend is never more important - or more complex - than within a family-owned business.

Contrary to common perceptions, a large percentage of U.S. businesses are family-owned. As these businesses mature, grow larger, and become more complex, owners often find themselves involving multiple family members who must work together in some capacity.

In its new white paper, "Shared Leadership In Family-Owned Businesses,", SDL explores three fundamental forms of in-family business management, including controlling owner business, sibling partnership and cousin consortium.

"The trend over the last decade in family business is towards shared leadership, where businesses transition control of the business to the next generation in the form of a leadership group," said Renée Montoya Lado, president. "While team management has become more the norm, desiring equality and creating an environment that supports shared decision-making are two entirely different things."

The trends in implementing team leadership include such structures as Office of the Chairman, Office of the President or an Executive Leadership Team. While all these deal with overall strategic direction and policy, there currently exists little available guidance on how to structure such groups. This actually benefits companies, which are then free to build their leadership teams to meet specific business needs and deal with the complexity that is often typical among family-owned businesses.

Some common considerations of family-owned business when creating a shared leadership team include the size of the company, the organization's culture and values, the complexity of the business and the quality of relationships among family members.

Additional business concerns that lead family-owned businesses in creating shared leadership include:

  •     the need to provide accountability against a new strategic plan;
  •     preparing for succession or retirement of key positions;
  •     increasing organizational focus and accelerating decision-making;
  •     managing organizational realignment (i.e. downsizing, restructuring or acquisition); and
  •     realigning corporate focus on global brands and multinational implementations.

More information on shared leadership among family-owned businesses is detailed in "Shared Leadership In Family-Owned Businesses," available free of charge at

About SDL
Strategic Designs For Learning (SDL) assists organizations in assessing, aligning and developing talent. Specific capabilities include leadership development, executive coaching, team development, and succession - with particular expertise in working with family-owned businesses. SDL provides a unique integration of leadership assessment, organizational development, coaching expertise, and business knowledge to effectively bridge the gap between business strategy and organizational effectiveness.

Media Contact:
Renée Montoya Lado
rlado (at)


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