Change is difficult. We’re creatures of habit. Especially in a family business where the business has enjoyed a high level of success for many years. Unfortunately past success isn’t a predictor of future success. In fact we know the statistics that only one out of three family businesses will make it successfully into the next generation.
For family business to not only survive but thrive in the new world of business it should embrace organizational change. That’s not always easy for the founding generation or the future generation.
The founding generation wants to keep it the way it is because they are comfortable they trust the results their methods have produced. The future generation many times has difficulty working with change because they don’t want to upset or insult the founding generation and at the same time they don’t want to be the ones that changed the Coke recipe and created a huge and public blunder!
A successful family business will employ change management strategies that include embracing change in every aspect of the business:
- what kinds of products are sold and how they are sold
- how products are delivered to customers
- looking for new customers and new markets
- how the company deals with its employees
- how the company treats family members
We’ve had the opportunity to work with many family businesses all over the country and in a variety of industries and have seen the reluctance to change in the majority of the businesses. Smart family business owners find ways to build upon the great qualities of their family business legacy and invent new and innovative versions of their business model and company culture.
Organizational change is inevitable. It’s incumbent upon the family leaders to challenge themselves and their paradigms of how things should be done and push the business and the family into the future.
Take the great reputation of your family business and create a newer more innovative version of the business and you’ll make your founders proud and secure your family business success well into the future.