Ford Family Business Conflicts — Part I

The New York Times published an article on June 23 by Bill Vlasic titled “Family Loyalty Anchors Ford in Risky Times”. The article discussed some of the challenging times that the Ford family business has faced, along with other auto makers, especially in recent years and months. As the piece noted, tough times have “led to splits in other famous business families like the Bancrofts who owned Dow Jones until they sold it to the News Corporation of Rupert Murdoch.” (Type “Bancrofts” into the search bar to find earlier comments about that situation.)

Two points are noted in the article which help preserve the Ford family and its family business.

First, the family has been meeting every three months, in good times and bad, for the last twenty years. The quarterly meetings now include up to 35 family members. By maintaining a schedule of regular and frequent family meetings, the family has created a forum for discussions that both ensures that family members have a steady working relationship and allows challenges to be faced before they escalate even further.

A few words about the second point next time.

Posted in Business Mediation, Conflict Resolution in the News, Family Businesses, Saturday, June 27th, 2009

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