Case Study

Family Business Leadership Challenges


On a number of occasions Centauric has been engaged by businesses that started in their owners’ dining rooms or garages and evolved to material enterprises with large numbers of employees. Centauric has been invited to help when the heirs apparent had different ideas about how to manage and grow these businesses. In one situation the differences concerned strategic use of new technology. In another, the differences centered on the importance of employee engagement, appropriate leadership style and the role of siblings as the organization progressed.

Centauric Contribution

In both these cases, Centauric began by understanding the evolution of the business, the personalities involved, family dynamics, the tone at the top, mood in the middle and buzz at the bottom. We worked with founders to clarify aspirations, areas of alignment and differences of opinion. At the same time, we consulted with heirs, enabling them to frame their ideas so that they could be heard and given consideration. Centauric also provided information to the principals concerning the impact of their differences on non-family members and the functioning of the business.

Once positions were clarified, Centauric designed and facilitated a series of discussions where differences could be understood, feelings acknowledged, and potential pathways forward given serious consideration. The next move was to find ways that solutions could be tested and evaluated in controlled settings. The outcomes of these experiments served as the foundation for subsequent adjustments, further experimentation and follow-up exploration.


In most engagements, the outcome is an evolution of the organization and intentional development of the heirs so that founders can gain comfort in passing control to the next generation. Family dynamics can clash with organization dynamics. Centauric works with the family in a way that is clearly focused on long term business success.

Elements of Centauric Approach:

  1. Individual, team and organization assessment
  2. Executive consultation, manager and team coaching
  3. Organization development, including: strategy, culture, organization design
  4. Change leadership