In this case the founders were looking to step back from the business but were unable to make the difficult decision around which of their three children should take over. Whilst they knew their youngest son was most capable and experienced, they didn’t want to marginalise the others, who had all devoted many years to the businesses.
Through individual soul searching and carefully facilitated discussions, it became clear that two of the siblings actually didn’t really want to work in the business. They had joined initially to help their parents at a difficult time but had never left.
These discussions enabled family members to open up and talk about what they really wanted to do with their lives. It resulted in the youngest son harmoniously buying out the rest of the family over time, giving them the freedom to live their lives and him the autonomy to fulfil his dream of driving the business forward.