Has anyone tried to bring practices from work (around organizational effectiveness or culture management) home to the family? For example, developing a value statement or providing performance reviews or some sort of roles and responsibility matrix. We are really trying to develop a predictable family parenting environment and it seems like some of the practices we use at work would be helpful.

  • My reaction is no, but we are organised at home, too. Could you further explain what you mean?
    – WRX
    Feb 6, 2017 at 16:28
  • I mean like developing a value statement or providing performance reviews or some sort of roles and responsibility matrix? Feb 6, 2017 at 20:43
  • ah, well then I will think it over, but short answer "no". While teaching your morals and cultural manners is good, I think the rest sounds contrived. When I am with my daughter I constantly am in discussion with her. How she feels, what I think, what she thinks. There is no need for a performance review. Everyone contributes to their own level of ability. We tend to add privleges and responsibilities in tandem.
    – WRX
    Feb 6, 2017 at 21:13
  • 2
    Trying to run a family like a traditional hierarchical office is likely to screw up your family. You're more likely to improve your office environment by bringing over effective family practices into such a place.
    – Erik
    Feb 7, 2017 at 8:59
  • Although @Erik might sound a bit tough to hear, but I strongly agree with him and suggest you reassess the idea. If anything, look at Abraham Maslow's Pyramid, and Erik Erikson's developmental psychology. Teaching at home is practically opposite of office management work. Small task & time management would be fine, but love and humanity take a lifetime to learn, with endless giving, many heart break moments, and enormous, at time painful amount of patience. Feb 7, 2017 at 12:48

3 Answers 3


I am not sure what specific practices you are referencing, but as a manager and a parent, I don't readily see a crossover from work to home.

In a work culture you are dealing with non-familial relationships. This requires stricter boundaries, and success in enforcement of policies relies on the ultimate understanding that a person can be fired for non-compliance.

In families, no one gets fired. You have to work a lot harder at those relationships, using strategies that ensure continued love and acceptance even as you apply discipline in order to persuade. In a family, we can and should be more open to non-conformity, supporting personal growth even as it departs from a parent's vision of what success should look like. This is very different than how we manage employees.

Consider specifically the concept of fairness. Fairness at work generally assigns benefits equally amongst those at the same level of responsibility. In a family, benefits are assigned according to greatest need. The company gives everyone the same insurance and sick days, while the family spends whatever is needed in time and money on the child who is struggling.


As a parent I think about how things are going and what I can do to make things better. I often think about what reasonable expectations for the future might be and what benchmarks I might watch for to see if they are being met. I sometimes think about changes in budgets and responsibilities. And we have talks about these things. This sounds much like a performance review in broadest language.

Do I have a room set aside for discussion of candy allotments where a bouncing paper-clip guides us though last quarter's numbers? Have I ever drawn a work flow for learning to draw? Or threatened termination for chronically sloppiness, hygiene violations and insubordination? Of course not.

I would like to better understand how to motivate people. I would like my conflict resolution to be smoother. I would like to better avoid making errors I could have known would be errors. And these are subjects professional management try to approach.

I think there is plenty to learn in management that might be applicable, but sorting useful from not sounds daunting, and if you commit to an experimental parenting plan you may reduce who will give you meaningful advice.


Some days, oh how I wish I could fire these kids. :-p

I think there are similarities between home and office, and I think a lot of the traits of a good manager also apply to being a good parent. At the same time the bad habits of an ineffective manager also make for a poor parent.

Communication is key. Talk often about expectations (behavior, grades, chores). Provide structure, be consistent. Lead by example. Praise/reward good behavior and successes. Be competent, but don't be afraid to admit fault. Look at failures as challenges that can be handled differently in the future.

Make sure you provide the tools the kids need to succeed. If I'm having a behavior problem, I always assume that the kid 'wants' to do the right thing, they're just having a hard time overcoming something. My job is to identify the obstacle and help clear the path to success.

Watch out for micromanagement. As the kids get older, encourage independence and resolving situations on their own. Make sure their challenges match their skill level. Always be encouraging. Identify individual strengths.

A family is a team, but a family is also unconditionally loving.

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