Do family managed ministries work?

Sometimes we have the BEST conversations via email.

We send weekly Drucker insight emails to our entire staff. It doesn’t happen every time, but sometimes a brave soul’s reply-all response triggers a fantastic thought-generator or conversation starter, like this one that happened over the holidays.

[Staff email sent on Dec 29, 2019, at 8:49 AM]

Rules for the Family-Managed Business The controlling word in “family-managed business” is not “family.”  It has to be “business.” The first rule is that family members do not work in the business unless they are at least as able as any non family employees, and work at least as hard.  The second rule is equally simple:  No matter how many family members are in the company’s management, and how effective they are, one top job is always filled by an outsider who is not  a member of the family.  Typically, this is either the financial executive or the head of research–the two positions in which technical qualifications are most important.  Rule three is that family-managed businesses, except perhaps for the very smallest ones, increasingly need to staff key positions with nonfamily professionals.  The knowledge and expertise needed, whether in manufacturing or in marketing, in finance, in research, in human resource management, have become far too great to be satisfied by any but the most competent family member. Even the family-managed business that faithfully observes the preceding three rules tends to get into trouble–and often breaks up–over management succession.  Then what the business needs and what the family wants tend to collide.  There is only one solution:  Entrust the succession decision to an outsider who is neither part of the family nor part of the business. ACTION POINT:  Get to know the top management of a family-owned business.  Ask members how they plan to handle the problems of management succession “into the next generation.”  Determine whether the plans are being driven by business issues or family issues, or by a combination of the two. Source: Managing in a Time of Great Change

[Rob] Even though OneHope is a public charity and not a family business, Dad and I were keenly aware that as we built OneHope together, he was developing me for leadership.

[VP reply] Rule #1 Pretty sure your calendar backs this up
Rule #2 Upheld by our Executive Vice President
Rule #3 Some of the reasons it’s easy to follow you into the trenches 👍🏻

[Rob] Running your ministry like a family business can work but only when you follow strict rules.

Knowing the ministry would continue to grow, I’m thankful for Dad’s foresight and wisdom in implementing these Drucker guidelines. Ultimately, they have allowed us to enjoy the best that comes from an atmosphere of a “family-run business” with safeguards in place so we can avoid the pitfalls that cause collisions and divisions among the ever-growing “family”.

Part of OneHope’s longevity lies in the fact that we have strictly observed many of Drucker’s insights. In this conversation, one of the most important pieces of information–which is no secret to my OneHope “family”–includes the last point , which will place my eventual succession in the hands of our Board.

Posted by

Rob Hoskins is the president of OneHope. Since taking leadership of OneHope in 2004, he has continued to advance the vision of God’s Word. Every Child. by partnering with local churches to help reach more than 2 BILLION children and youth worldwide with a contextualized presentation of God’s Word.

One thought on “Do family managed ministries work?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *