Initial research and articles relating to in-law integration into a family business identified that limited attention especially in a farming context has been placed on the role and impact both to the individual, family and business but recognised it was a unique and challenging position. Further reading specific to in-law relationships in an overseas farming context followed by identification of factors that contribute to effective and happy families influenced my direction and focus. The aspects needed by the individual daughter or son in-law and how the overall family functions.
The true learning really happened at the interview stage when four family members and three professionals shared their experiences, knowledge and insight into what contributed to smooth integration. Many of the research themes were echoed by the participants but what really stood out was the commitment required and that integrating into a family business is a journey that one is on for a life time. Becoming part of a family and business is a constant evolution and involves continual learning and application.
For that reason, the attributes which have been identified in this report are timeless and can be adopted at any stage of the journey. At the heart is to remain values focused – living a life aligned to what is important to you. Second, to maintain a strong and connected spouse relationship. From there stems prioritising understanding time, developing conversational confidence, remaining agile, practicing self-care, having fun and being creative and recognising change can start with you.