The world changes quickly and sometimes a family business needs to transform itself in order to survive and achieve its higher purposes – even if the changes may be seen as ‘betrayal’ of the old way of doing things.
Here’s a summary of a BFF video with Gaia Machisio of the Cox Family Enterprise Center:
How does the concept of loyalty affect enterprising families?
“We are raised with the idea of loyalty: we have to be loyal to the previous generation so we think that if we do something different we are betraying the previous generation. Well, my suggestion is to say we are loyal to the goal of keeping the company successful and the family together. How we do that can be very different in every generation.”
In what ways can generations drive change?
“Within the same family group, you have three opportunities. One, you can be the innovator so you can bring a lot of change in the current companies. Second, you can venture within the family business while working with the family capital. Third, there is the idea of strategic renewal. Companies have drastically changed from where they started but with the idea that if we want to be in business we have to change.”
Given this, what’s one piece of advice?
“Make sure you get it clear with your family that ‘working in the family’ business doesn’t mean that everyone has to do exactly the same thing. I think it’s important to let people understand that there are different roles that we can play.”
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