Capturing the Value of Family Ownership
We are a 4th generation family businesses. We are reasonably cohesive mainly due to some governance structures being put in place in recent years. The one thing we are struggling with though is getting the next generation engaged. They are becoming scattered all over the world with good education and careers. I think that is the difference between our generation’s engagement and theirs, we stayed local because there weren’t too many other options.
But I believe we need to get them to have buy-in for the long-term security of the family business. With holiday season approaching, we would like some of your thoughts on how other family businesses have done family businesses have done this successfully.
Firstly congratulations on the longevity of your family business – that is a wonderful achievement. You have a great advantage in having the governance structures in place so I would suggest you use those structures as a way of involving your next gen.
Include them (rotating participation perhaps) in family meetings- skyping means it doesn’t matter where they are based, they can attend. Understand what they value and ensure those values are incorporated into the long-term planning of the business strategy. Many family businesses have used community based projects as a way of getting the next gen actively involved in the family business.
Finally use technology and family gatherings to make sure the family business story is shared- how did it start, successes and failures, information about the founders. This is proving to be a very good indicator of family business success.
Here is an article I’ve written for Smart Company and from Campden FB on this subject.