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. Last time I wrote about the regular family meetings that help the Ford family manage conflict.
The second point the article made about the Ford family’s success in managing conflict involves how the family deals with disagreements. Any organization will face disagreements if it is growing and evolving. The key to success often turns on just how the organization deals with these inevitable frictions.
In 2007, a few Ford family members tried to hire a Wall Street firm “to advise them on long-term strategy — including possible mergers or even a sale.” Other family members opposed the idea. The family voted down the proposal. It’s the next step that is essential: “unwavering support once decisions are made.” By not trying to undermine a decision that has been made, but instead rallying around it, a family acts to help itself and its business.