Getting to the Horizontal Bar

Horizontal BarPartners in family and other closely-held enterprises often operate within silos.  That is, one might manage sales, another might manage operations, and another may manage finance.  They may make an effective team, overseeing all aspects of the enterprise, but with too much focus and energy within their silos, they can also set themselves up for conflict as well as lose perspective on the enterprise as a whole.

We encourage a transition to what we’ve labeled “the horizontal bar.”  When thinking and working within the horizontal bar, family member principals are exercising a broader perspective.  They are wearing their hats as “owners” and perhaps “directors” of the enterprise and not solely “employees.”  This does not mean they abandon their silos, but it surely requires that they mentally exit them when appropriate, understand more fully a totality of needs.  The ability to see the “big picture” and align with partners on goals and strategy is essential for success and even the survival of the enterprise.

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