Secrets of a harmonious family business

ONE MINUTE BRIEFING: Former haggis magnate Jo Macsween says a little reflection goes a long way.

by Adam Gale

Fictional portrayals of family businesses are hardly flattering: from the Ewings of Dallas to the Gettys of All The Money In The World, they are characterised by backstabbing, bickering and feuds.

The reality may not be quite as cinematic, but family firms do present a complication that others do not: "it’s only business" doesn’t really cut it when your colleagues and subordinates are also your relatives.

Jo Macsween, former MD of family haggis business Macsween, explains how separating the professional from the personal is essential for a functional family firm, and points to a surprising tool to ease the inevitable tensions.  

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