Tsitsi Mutendi, Family Business Expert
Conflict is a normal occurrence in everyday life. Although many assume that conflict is harmful, not all conflict is negative. Some conflict is healthy and ushers in necessary adjustments to process and operations. In a family and a family business, there are various types of conflicts. Being able to identify conflict and managing it appropriately is essential for the sustainability of the family and of the family business.
Here are some examples of conflict that may be found within the family and the family business:
Sibling Conflict: Siblings are natural friends and equally so, can become natural rivals. In most cases of sibling conflict, the conflict arises from sibling rivalry. Some Causes of sibling rivalry are:
- Competing for parent’s attention and affection.
- Seeking for parent approval.
- Different priorities within the family or business context.
- Competing against each other.
Sibling conflict, unless resolved, can cause problems in their ability to work together towards a common good. At times competitiveness can become toxic if it is against each other: a good example is within the family business if siblings have to work together but take their competitiveness against each other to work. Without clear boundaries, they may cause other employees to take sides or even give conflicting instructions or policies that then effectively ruin the everyday operations of the business.
To manage sibling conflicts, the nature of the conflict must be identified, and methods of resolving or managing the conflict put in place so that the relationship of the siblings is preserved and more so that the operations of the family business is not disturbed. One such method to assist with such conflicts is a family business constitution. It may not directly solve the conflict, but it will give guidelines as to the family values and applications of those values in the conflict and the business as a whole.
Operational conflict: This is conflict that occurs in the everyday operations of the business. Families are complex in nature, and they are made up of various individuals that have different thoughts and beliefs about the values of the family and the business. Without clear direction on what the values, vision, and mission of the business is, conflicts arise. Some members of the family may value the monetary gain the business offers, while others may appreciate the shared goals and unity of family that the business represents.
In such cases, the family must find a middle ground. A family constitution helps document and clarify the family values while ensuring every voice and need is addressed in a way that if an operational conflict arises, it can be resolved in a way that sees all parties’ voices being heard. Equally so, as values change and the family changes and evolves, so will the constitution.
Spousal Conflict. As families grow, so do their various networks. Each time there is a marriage or birth, the family grows bigger. And the complexities of the relationships deepen. One such complication is marriage. How do family businesses handle marriages and the in-law and in-laws that come with it?
How do families and family businesses handle divorces and the similar complexities that come with it. In some famous cases of family businesses, we find that the new in-law can be blamed as the source of new family conflicts. And this conflict has the potential of overflowing into the family business. Issues of do in-laws get jobs within the family business and what expectations or qualifications apply.
Similarly so, so in-laws her shareholding and when. Professional advisors can help families navigate the legal and moral complexities of the spousal conflict and help the family business formulate the appropriate solutions that apply to their needs.
Assumed conflict is our final conflict on this list. Assumed conflict is the conflict that occurs when there is assumption and no clarity on issues or actions that are taken by a family member within the business or in a way that affects the business. The other family members and the public may also assume due to speculation that there is conflict when, in fact, there is not. If clarity in communication is not taken immediately, then the assumed conflict may quickly escalate to become an actual conflict that may have a negative impact.
It is necessary to note that this list of possible conflicts that may occur in a family and its business is by no ways, exhaustive. What is crucial to note is that all the conflicts may sound negative or may seem to have negative impacts on the family business and the family itself; however, this is not always the case. As stated at the beginning, some conflicts create the opportunity for resolution of long-standing issues and, in other instances, opportunities to review values or traditions that need refreshment.
Tradition holds us together, but innovation and development make us stronger and more capable in the face of different generations and the forward advancing world. For families and their businesses to last through many generations, there must be accommodation of the values of the new generations as much as the understanding of the need to grow differently if needs be.
How does your family deal with conflict and conflict resolution? Has it ever affected your family business, and how?
By Tsitsi Mutendi, Founder of African Family Firms and Africa is Rising Collective
Diaspora investments: A must for the development of Africa
Image Source: rupixen.com
It has been three years since his Excellency president Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana shared some controversial thoughts on Africa’s dependence on aid or support from Europe in a decades long effort to develop the continent.
He was applauded for his bold statement and stance, but many (especially people from the Ghanaian diaspora) thought they were only words. Words they had heard many times before, but without plans or actions backing them. This might be true from their perspective, yet for the current generation of descendants from those who have been sold into slavery, it was good to hear an African leader show some backbone.
“We can no longer continue to make policy for ourselves, in our country, in our region, in our continent based on whatever support that the western world or France, or the European Union can give us. It will not work. It has not worked, and it will not work”.
The Diaspora Is Linked To The Strength of Africa
President Nana Akufo-Addo’s views on European aid are commendable, even if we debate how much he will be able to back up his words with actions.
“The place of the Diaspora, the status of the people in the diaspora, of the African diaspora, is intimately linked with what happens on the continent. An Africa strong and performing, transforms your position, your status here in Europe”.
He was addressing diaspora members in France, but he could have been addressing all people of African descent worldwide. The fact is that his ability to back his words, not exclusively but to an important extent, is contingent on the support he as an African leader receives from the African diaspora.
Remittance Coming From The African Diaspora
As a member from the African diaspora, one might ask: “Are we not supporting enough?”
Ishmeal Lamptey (Source: unsplash.com)
According to the World Bank Sub Saharan Africa received an estimated 48 billion US dollars in remittance funds from the African diaspora in 2019.
A study by Comstock, Iannone, Bhatia published in March 2009 (yes, the phenomenon has been studied for some time now) shows most funds are spend on costs of sustenance (29%), medical costs (16%) and education (12%).
When looking at the order of precedence these costs take in relation to each other, we see that unforeseen costs come first, second are medical costs and the last are for education. This underlines what we all know. The fact that there is often a sense of emergency to these transfers.
The Need To Move From Remittance To Investment In Africa
So, to answer the question of the diaspora, if it is not doing enough…well no. Harsh isn’t it? The fact of the matter is that the remittance funds are our own version of aid to the continent. It is keeping our people our family from dying but it’s not helping with any development.
We, the African diaspora, need to make the transition from remittance to investment. Remittance will always be part of the financial flows, but when seen in relation with Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from the diaspora, they shouldn’t dominate as they do at present.
Following the content of a few independent journalists, there is now ample proof that at least some in the diaspora are not only willing, but able to move to the continent and start new businesses. But this group is a very small minority. The vast majority will not be able to follow suit and we should not want them to.
The revenues of the use of their human capital is needed to generate the investment flows Africa needs. The challenge Sub Saharan Africa faces is that of aggregation of available funds originating from the diaspora. The funds are clearly there, the industries which need them for we’ve identified, but now we need to create a robust infrastructure to aggregate and get them to their destination.
Like we pointed out in our previous article about thinking sufficiently big; while we keep our eyes on the end goal, we might need to start building one stone at a time. From individual projects, to industries, to the whole economy.
When doing so, we need to keep in mind that Africa is a unique environment. The common instruments of capital allocation used in the world should certainly be our starting point, but not limit our imagination when pooling the diaspora funds and channeling them into the continent.
As we have admonished a few times now; Africa should think BIG. And that also applies to its diaspora. In the coming articles we will continue exploring the idea of “thinking big” in the African context. So please make sure to subscribe to our Newsletter. We invite you to share your thoughts with us on the matter and get a discussion going with us and our other readers.
Article By: Jerrol Cambiel, Chief Executive EU Operations Debnoch Capital
North Ladder Secures $5 Million Series A Financing Round To Accelerate Global Expansion
North Ladder Team (Source: Siddharth Sudhakar)
North Ladder (previously called BuyBack Bazaar), a UAE based secured trading platform for pre-owned luxury assets and electronics, today announced a $5 million Series A funding round led by regional venture capital firm BECO Capital. The new investment will help the company scale up its technology platform, enhance customer experience and pursue further geographic expansion.
The homegrown start-up also revealed that it will begin operating under the new brand name North Ladder effective immediately, representing the company’s strategy of charting new markets and supporting individuals across the globe in their endeavour to elevate their financial situation. The disruptive and innovative technology platform is the first of its kind, providing access to verified buyers of second-hand goods and instant cash. North Ladder currently enables users to sell electronics such as phones, laptops, tablets, and smart watches, as well as luxury assets including watches and cars, with a unique option of buying it back within a few months.
The Series A financing builds on an exceptional year for North Ladder which saw rapid growth of its clients, network of buyers and corporate partnerships. To date, the platform has witnessed over 15,000 transactions in the UAE, with over 85 different nationalities served while earning an impressive 4.9/5 customer satisfaction rating. In 2021, the start-up is looking to establish its presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States, with a focus on scaling the platform significantly in the next 18 to 24 months.
“North Ladder has demonstrated tremendous success with its unique model of helping customers access immediate funds against their assets. The provision of a seamless and trusted digital platform for the sale of pre-owned goods has immense socially transformative potential at a global scale. We are excited about partnering with them to take their services to the next level,” said Dany Farha, CEO & Managing Partner, BECO Capital.
The company recently appointed Sandeep Shetty, former Managing Director of the core ride hailing business at Careem, as Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of North Ladder. Prior to Careem he also led the digital transformation program at Emirates NBD and has held leadership positions at McKinsey & Company and GE Capital across India, the United States and the Middle East. Sandeep joins the leadership team of co-founders Pishu Ganglani and Ricky Husaini who together bring years of prior global start-up, financial services, technology and operations experience.
“Our exciting partnership with the region’s leading investor BECO Capital gives us the opportunity to scale operations in the UAE and expand to other strategic markets, with the mission of meaningfully impacting people across all strata of society,” said Sandeep Shetty of North Ladder. “Our global auction brings professional buyers from around the world to compete and provide local customers with the best prices and no hidden surprises.”
Since its launch in 2018, North Ladder has been recognized as one of the “Top 5 innovative start-ups in the MENA region” by PayPal backed accelerator, Village Capital and awarded as an Innovator by Entrepreneur Middle East.
Legacy Premier Foundation Congratulates New World Trade Organisation (WTO) Head Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala © AFP via Getty Images
The entire team at Legacy Premier Foundation hereby congratulates Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as the new chief of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
With a proud heart and jubilation, we salute our quintessential woman of many feats on this global call to service.
This is a perfect example of a narrative that says “when opportunity meets preparedness success is inevitable”. Madam Director, you are an epitome of this simple quote. Over the years, you’ve carefully built a track record of competence with your records very visible in the public domain.
We are very pleased to send our warmest congratulations on your appointment as the seventh (7th) Director General of the foremost World Trade Organization, also making history as the first African and female to hold this prestigious position.
At this time where the world is battling with the Covid-19 pandemic, with a gradual return to normalcy, there are still some undulating terrains in the global trade landscape. We believe with you at the helm of affairs coupled with 25 years of diplomatic dealings and demonstrated leadership as a World Bank executive, you will saddle the affairs of the WTO and the entire global trade economy through these sensitive times.
We wish you much success in your new post and we look forward to the pleasure of working with you, in the place of making our African continent prominent in the scheme of world trades, and much more rejuvenation of hope that an African has all it takes to get to the zenith of his or her career without any equivocation.
We wish you a resounding success with legendary actions for global impact.
Signed: Dr Remi Duyile, Former VP, Bank of America and Founder, Legacy Premier Foundation
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