If a company wants to grow and remain successful, then it needs good governance: rules, practices and processes that apply to all employees from the board of directors downwards.

Everyone has heard of corporate governance, but it is still surprising how many family-owned companies do not have similar rules and processes in place to govern how individual members interact with each other in a professional capacity.

It is one, if not the main, reason why a lot of family businesses fail, or cannot make a smooth transition from the generation that founded the business to the next one coming up the ranks.

The chief problem is that emotions get in the way of good decision-making and age-old family hierarchies define both. Parents struggle to place their children’s views on an equal footing with their own and siblings define their roles based on who is oldest, youngest, or in the middle.

There have been lots of Asian family-owned businesses, which have fallen by the wayside over the past few decades. It is especially the case in China, which began its climb up the economic ladder a decade or so earlier than Vietnam.

The country’s first generation of private sector businessmen and women grew up under Mao’s centrally planned economy before gaining the opportunity to flex their entrepreneurial muscles in the 1980’s after Deng Xiaoping became paramount leader. That generation is now retiring, but their overseas-educated sons and daughters haven’t always found it easy to work alongside parents who had an extremely different formative experience.

They both forgot to bridge the generational divide and define what joins them together and what propels them forwards. Vietnam’s economic rise began a decade later than China so we have had a ringside seat to see what worked and what didn’t.

As such, I think my father showed a great deal of foresight in bringing family coaches into the business about a decade ago, a few years after my sister Bich and I joined the business after university. They helped us to create a core aspiration, mission statement and a set of core values, which run parallel to the ones we developed for the wider company.

These values form the glue, which enables the Tran family to stick together, to separate our personal lives from our professional ones and provide a foundation stone for the way that we manage the company. We regularly re-visit these values at family meetings and all agree to abide by them.

We believe that they will help us to achieve our 100-year strategy for THP because they help us to see beyond the self.

Here is our mission statement: share a culture of leadership, integrity, commitment and talent so that we can build a global business that creates wealth, enhances our family’s reputation and makes a positive impact on society.

And here are our core values:

1. Hard work means results not possessions.
2. Contribute: make a positive difference to others and think beyond self.
3. Integrity: honor our word.
4. Maintain a “nothing is impossible” spirit.
5. Leadership: being part of a family means taking responsibility to make things better for the family and live for its success.