Managing conflict in family business: “Learn how to talk and listen!”

The job of operating a family-owned company is often complicated by friction arising involving family members who hold positions in the business. Managing conflict is needed and the so-called the Dean of Family Business, Shanti L. Poesposoetjipto reveals.

“We need to learn how to talk and listen therefore we have the same language,” said Shanti at Faculty Appreciation Dinner of SBM ITB in Jakarta (30/1/2020). Shanti now serves PT Samudera Indonesia as the Chairman of the Board of Commissioner. Founded by her late father, Soedarpo Sastrosatomo, Samudera Indonesia has been able to develop a well-respected & well-recognized cargo transportation and logistics company for more than 50 years.

Moreover, one of the factors to avoid the risk of conflict to occur within the family, she went to discuss the need of professional management. At least there were three roles of professional managers that was discussed by the eldest daughter of Soedarpo Sastrosatomo and Minarsih Wiranatakusumah. “To run the operation of the company, to act as the enforcer in establishing a culture of work-discipline in the company, and to develop the system procedures and professionalize the company’s business conduct,” as she explained.

How to integrate them into the company? “Founders commitment to transfer their power and authority to the managers. Transfer of power and authority should occur while founders are still in a productive age and while the company is in the take off period. Last, process of power and authority transfer should be staged as such in accordance with the individual maturity and readiness of the professional managers,” closed the member of School Advisory Council of SBM ITB.