Keeping it in the family

Over the past week, the Conway family has been in the limelight, provoking questions about whether employing wives, sons and daughters really is  a proper use of taxpayer money. David Cameron today revealed that more than 70 Tory MPs employ family members in their parliamentary offices.

But why should this be a bad thing” Some of Britain’s finest businesses are run by families. The trust and instinctive understanding that comes from families working together can provide the glue that keeps a business’s values true and its performance firing. David Pounds, who runs family business Mobile Media with his wife Karen Olsen, explains the value: "We’re not just the suits that disappear for lunches. They trust us and they know they can talk about anything.”

Equally, family bickering has led to the downfall of many a family dynasty.

So what are the secrets of making a family unit an effective business unit” Over to our very own emotional guru, Margaret Heffernan:

Related story: Emotional rescue

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