Updated: Aug 10, 2020
I love trees. I love to look at 'em, I love to climb 'em, and I love what they teach us. In this case, I love how this first picture above dissects the ground and gives us a small glimpse into the incredible root system. It is a wonderful reminder of how vast, complex, tangled and even unlovely the underlayment actually is. And yet, it is the very thing that sets the tree up for success or failure.
The same is true for families... A solid and healthy root system is what anchors its members to weather environmental and relational storms, allowing it to grow stronger even under the many stressors. This relational health is absolutely foundational to bearing sustainable fruit, which in business lingo, is the quality of the service or product you provide, and this a critical component to the demands of being a family in business together.
How do you get a healthy root system? It comes from the right environmental nutrients and micro-nutrients (because the little things can matter). When a tree is planted in the right habitat, with the right ONGOING nutrients, it can't help but naturally grow strong and healthy. In my experience, many family businesses start out doing okay. They are passionate, eager and committed to making it work. It is just that as the business grows and family members are added, that the intentional root care is forgotten. And this...is where things start to fall apart.
If you look at the second picture below, the drawing, you can see how vast the underground root system needs to be in order to sustain healthy growth above ground. It is wide, deep and in many ways, is at least equal in expanse to the canopy above. This should tell you something: your behind the scenes family culture and relationship requires an equal amount of energy and time as your "external" focus.
So, how is your family root system? How attentive are you to cultivating its health? What nutrients/micro-nutrients are you supplying your family to secure its and your business's ongoing success?
Want to learn more? Contact me today.