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Conflict In Family Business

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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.

Also Read: Building Sustainable and Profitable Enterprises: An Interview with David Owumi, Founder of VisionCTRL Africa

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

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Press Release

Journey Wellness, an AI-Enabled, Personalised Healthcare Platform Launches in South Africa

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Journey Wellness Co-Founders, Dr. Jacques Ludik and Laura Wayburne (Image: Nomsa Mdhluli)

Journey Wellness, an AI-Enabled, Personalised Healthcare Platform set to Revolutionize Wellness & Healthcare in South Africa. The Platform will transform business employee benefits and medical schemes’ approach to offering wellness for employees and medical aid members.

A revolutionary new approach to offering Ultra-Personalised, Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Healthcare from tech-trendsetting company Cortex Logic is set to transform the way medical aid schemes, consumers and corporates offering employee benefits as part of their EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes) view their current healthcare offering.

The Journey Wellness platform is perfectly timed to coincide with the current global shift in Healthcare, as the focus moves from a disease-management model to one that encourages optimum health and disease-avoidance, targeting younger as well as existing members with a holistic, pro-active offering.

Corporates and medical schemes are realising that they need to offer their employees and members wellness and EAP benefits that move beyond expensive, reactive, chemical care to cost-effective, proactive preventative primary care.

“Globally, an ever-increasing portion of healthcare spend and focus is shifting to promote wellness and wellbeing, rather than responding to illness,” says Lara Wayburne, a respected Healthcare Actuary consulting to Cortex Logic and part of the development team of the Journey Wellness Platform.

“Healthcare analysts predict that over the coming decade the focus on wellness and wellbeing can reduce overall healthcare costs by as much as 30%.”

“Journey Wellness enables that future by empowering and engaging consumers to better understand the drivers that impact their health and therefore be more actively involved in managing their own health. By doing so, the Journey Wellness ecosystem encourages positive health seeking behaviour, promoting better physical and mental health,” says Wayburne.

The driving force behind Journey Wellness, Dr Jacques Ludik, Founder and CEO of Cortex Logic, who has also recently written a book called ‘Democratizing Artificial Intelligence to Benefit Everyone’, says that the Journey Wellness platform will provide more healthcare, to more people, faster.

“Essentially, Journey is a cost-effective, pro-active, personalised and engaged AI health companion that will improve health outcomes for everyone involved – the medical scheme provider, employers, employees, healthcare providers and ultimately the end-user consumer who will benefit from personalised, proactive healthcare with the added benefits of cost savings all-round,” says Dr Ludik.

Journey Wellness offers a number of benefits for Medical Schemes, Corporates and End-Users:

Employer Groups and Medical Scheme providers will benefit from the cost savings inherent in moving from expensive, reactive, chemical care to cost-effective, proactive preventative primary care for their members and employees. This will result in increased productivity, increased employee engagement, reduced absenteeism and cost-savings to all involved.

Healthcare Providers will benefit from having a 360-degree view of their patients that will improve wellness proactively without costly chemical intervention, usually at the reactive stage and will also empower patients with continuous self-care.

And, Consumers will benefit from a Holistic Wellness Solution and the reduced need for expensive healthcare options, improved wellbeing, rewards for engagement and ultimately having a personalised wellness coach on hand at all times to help them understand their health status and associated risks and better manage their health and improve quality of life.

“Overall, it’s a win-win scenario in which technology, data and analytics foster a collaborative and progressive healthcare environment, creating an ecosystem for improved wellbeing one step at a time that benefits everyone,” says Wayburne.

Journey Wellness has also made an exciting announcement around making the Platform’s Mental Health Module available for free to users from 1 September 2021.

“We realise that the current state of affairs globally, and in South Africa in particular, with pandemic lockdowns and economic uncertainty foremost on our minds, places an enormous amount of pressure on people. So, we’re offering free access to our Mental Health Module to users, where they can access an AI-enabled mental health companion 24/7,” says Dr Ludik.

The Journey Wellness Demo Platform for Corporate Employers and Medical Schemes is available at www.journeywellness.co.za, and for Consumers, the User App is available as a free download for Android and iOS devices at Google Play and App Store. Medical schemes and Employers looking to offer Journey Wellness to their members can interact directly with Journey Wellness by requesting a demo via the website.

 

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Investment

Chaka secures $1.5M pre-seed round to power digital investments and wealth management opportunities across Africa

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Chaka CEO, Tosin Osibodu at a press briefing (Image & Press Release: Chaka)

Chaka is thrilled to announce its $1.5M pre-seed funding round led by Breyer Capital, a global venture firm focused on catalyzing growth in high-impact companies like Spotify, Facebook, and now, Chaka. Other participants in the round are 4DX Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, Future Africa, Seedstars, and Musha Ventures.

Chaka is a technology solutions company on a mission to enable every business and person in Africa to access borderless digital investment and wealth management opportunities. The team combines investment expertise and best-in-class technology to provide reliable digital Investing, trading and wealth management solutions that are easy-to-use and easy-to-integrate.

Their mission is to enable digital border-less investing for African businesses and individuals. They’re powering the digital investment landscape in Africa through partnerships with asset managers, financial technology firms, and regulators with whom we have a shared mission. We achieve this by providing trading solutions that are easy to use and easy to integrate.

With this capital, they will focus on the goals to build a roster of formidable partners and accelerate expansion to other markets within West Africa. This investment also enables them to hire top talent and integrate more advanced functionalities into our investment and wealth management solutions.

Jim Breyer, CEO of Breyer Capital, shared his view on this investment and it illustrates their shared vision: “We are proud to align ourselves with a company that is leveling the investment playing field for Nigerians (and Africans at large). We’re confident in the value Chaka provides through its digital tools, and we look forward to playing our part in supporting Tosin, Bo, Olaolu, and the Chaka team.”

This is a significant milestone for Chaka and could not have come this far without their users, partners, early investors, and a talented, achieving team of Champions.

They see digital investments as a means to boost economic transformation in Africa, and we’re very keen to bring this vision to life.

 

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Manufacturing

Emmanuel Penneh set to lead the Ghanaian team that will re-assemble the first Nissan Navara made in Ghana

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Emmanuel Penneh (Image: Lusawovana Pius- edelman) 

Emmanuel Penneh arrived back in Accra this week, ready to start the next phase of a journey that’s taken three years so far and still has an intensive eight months to run. On Thursday 3 June 2021, the married 44-year-old father of three graduated with his team of 11 Ghanaians from an intense eight-week course at Nissan South Africa’s Rosslyn manufacturing plant outside Pretoria. That was just the first step for them. Now the hard work begins, getting Ghana’s brand-new Nissan assembly plant in Tema, outside Accra, ready to begin re-assembling the first ever Nissan Navaras to be built in Africa early in the New Year.

The graduation is a critical milestone in a process that began back in 2018 with the signing of the landmark Memorandum of Understanding between Nissan and the Government of Ghana, followed by the drafting and promulgation of Ghana’s automotive development policy the following year and then the appointment of Japan Motors Trading Company (JMTC), as Nissan’s preferred partner last year to ensure that the new facility will be 100% Ghana owned and run.

Penneh is up for the challenge. Speaking at the special graduation ceremony held at the Rosslyn, SKD plant, he said he and his team were proud and honoured, excited and delighted. “This is a historic evolution for Nissan Ghana, Nissan South Africa and Nissan worldwide. This is the plant where the Nissan Navara is being made for the first time in Africa, by Africans for Africa, now we are going home to re-assemble the first Navara made in Ghana for Ghana by Ghanaians!”

Penneh will be the plant manager. It’s a feather in the cap for the 10-year JMTC veteran. Before being approached to lead the team, Penneh was service co-ordinator for the group’s aftersales operations, overseeing five workshops across Ghana. He’s been in the automotive industry for 14 years, with four years at Man Truck Ghana before he joined JMTC.

“It’s exciting,” he says, “it gives a new dimension to my career. After concentrating on the after sales aspect, I’m now coming into the industry that actually builds the vehicles.”

The eight-week training that the team underwent in South Africa had been gruelling, he said, they had no idea what to expect. “It was challenging coming fresh into this industry and discovering so many processes and rules and mastering them, but it’s been exciting.”

He’s exceptionally proud of the team he led to South Africa and the way they’ve conducted themselves. “This (the creation of a Nissan assembly plant in Ghana) is going to be a game changer for ourselves, but also for our country, creating jobs, upskilling people and creating opportunities for local brand ownership.”

 

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