Family Business Advisory Services

As managing director Mr. Quinlan has designed Growth Strategies Global to operate from a unique philosophy that balances his broad range of experiences in upper management with tested business practices, underpinned by behavioral science knowledge (MSOD). Realizing that every family firm is unique and that there is not one super model that addresses the complexity and heterogeneity of the family firm, GSG, with precision, examines whether the issues are succession, professionalism, governance, and/or performance. GSG recognizes the subtlety, which may include the immediate developmental realities of the firm as opposed to transitional objectives, or the sustainability/profitability of the firm as opposed to a growth enterprise strategy, or the present company brand, which may encompass the forward entrepreneurial ethos and/or strategic vision.

GSG will assist your firm to determine:

  1. Why is this proposed change/transition of vital importance?
  2. To/From whom must the strategy/plan as well as the torch be passed, and when and how?

Also worth noting: Historical advisory and research efforts were directed to enable family firm leaders to ‘beat the odds’ and transition their firm to the next generation of their family. However, in a recent article, Praordita Sharma, professor of family business at the School of Business Administration, University of Vermont, concludes:

  • Enterprising families ran an average of 3-4 firms during the tenure of any one generation.
  • Both parallel and sequential running of multiple firms were prevalent as ways to manage a portfolio of enterprises.
  • Exiting a firm through sale, public offering, or closing may be a sign of a successful transition rather than failure as assumed earlier.
  • Firms may continue over generations, but transition from the original controlling family to one or more other enterprising families.
  • A controlling family may evolve in its role to become the governing investors rather than continuing as operational controlling leaders of the firm (e.g., Rosa, 1998; Zellweger et al., 2012)


The Family Business Model Defined:

The Family Business (total system) is an organization comprised of three subsystems that are complex and synergistic.

The Family Business Challenge:

The leader is mandated to keep the three subsystems integrated and balanced. A change within any one subsystem impacts the others.

Discussion Points to Assess Integration:

  1. Which subsystem is prevailing at the moment? Why?
  2. What, if anything, should be done about it?
  3. What subsystem(s) should be developed to keep the total family business system integrated and balanced?
  4. What functions of the business operations are being undermined by the family issues  (and vice versa)?

The Family Business is a unique entity that requires:

  • Strong entrepreneurship, ambitious vision and a sense of urgency
  • Deep comprehension of strategy formation, execution and business operations
  • High level of emotional intelligence and business skills


GSG will assist the family business to integrate the three fundamental subsystems. We provide confidential and sensitive counsel to the family business leader, other family members and non-family individuals involved in the business operations. GSG welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with your firm’s attorney and accountant as well as the family office. The result is increased levels of productivity and sustainable financial performance beside emotional well being for the owners and family members.  Since 1986, GSG has accumulated and provided the following knowledge and skills:

  • Organization Assessment
  • Strategic Change Management
  • Executive Coaching
  • Family Council / Family Charter Development & Maintenance
  • Leadership & Management Development
  • Team Building
  • Strategy Formation and Strategic Planning
  • Marketing & Sales Function Development
  • Value Chain Analysis
  • Integration of Owners, Family Council, and Legal Estate Planning

Whether selling groceries, running funeral homes or operating any retail or service company, family business owners have many things in common. A survey (Flo Work and Chris Volf , 2003) of multi-generational family businesses suggests that families are as concerned with the quality of their familial relationships as they are with their company’s bottom line. Most are eager to keep the family in the business, increase their wealth, and grow family leaders in each generation.

Jaffe and Braden’s study (published in The Charleston Regional Business Journal, June 25, 2007) reports that families succeed in keeping the family in business by:

(1) Having a clear and powerful vision

(2) Developing entrepreneurial strengths

(3) Planning strategically to mitigate risks and maximize opportunities

Family businesses that successfully pass to succeeding generations share these management elements:

  • Structure and organization processes that ensure the execution of the family and business purposes and values to protect family assets
  • Clear roles and responsibilities
  • Excellent communication systems
  • A process of encouraging family members to develop critical skills to succeed in the business
  • A clear progression and succession path for family members to succeed and/or exit the business to provide independence


Please take time to utilize the assessment below as well as to ponder the previous subsystem discussion points. It is recommended to share these questions and this assessment tool with other key and valued associates to gain a broader perspective. Once the questions are answered and the assessment is completed we will schedule a confidential discussion to determine what changes you want to achieve and conclude if there is a fit (chemistry) between GSG and your company in order to proceed.

How does your business stack up? Complete The Family Business Assessment and determine if your family company knows where it is going and has a plan to get there.

Contact me for a free, private and confidential consultation to discuss your organization’s challenges.


Mobile: (313) 704-0059

Office: (313) 469-6450