What’s most important to today’s younger generation is to have a feeling that they are doing meaningful work.
An important part of that is having a meaningful vision.
Some family businesses haven’t updated their vision to help engage and inspire the next generation in business. Us “older gen” think – “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
The reality is that the business must continue to evolve to meet the needs of the current and future owners and the current and future customers.
It’s the role of the family leader to have the courage and ability to facilitate productive vision conversations within the family and the business.
Most family leaders are reluctant to open “Pandora’s Box” and therefore never give the family and the business the important opportunity to freshen up its vision.
I get it — you are afraid once you begin the dialogue and it doesn’t go where you want it to go you won’t be able to rein it back in. That might be a legitimate concern but at the same time not dealing with the vision conversation can cause bigger and more fatal problems to the business.
Many families make it more complicated than it needs to be. You need to set the right backdrop and get everyone in the room and simply ask a few questions and then practice good listening.
Here are some questions I suggest using with the family:
What do we think is the main purpose of this business?
Where do you see the business going in the next 5, 10 and 20 years?
How does the vision for the business align with our vision for the family?
Where do you see yourself and your family going over the next 5 to 20 years?
Do you have a vision for your personal life that is in alignment with the family business?
Do we see any way that the vision of the family business could be adjusted to better match the vision of the future generation?
What if anything is getting in the way of the business and the family having a more aligned vision?
Use these questions as the starting point of the vision conversation. A good vision is a result of many conversations, self-reflection and collaboration with others.
Commit to having this dialogue with your family soon. Email me if you have any questions or concerns before or after the first conversation.
You’ve got this! Just do it.
Pete Walsh is a demanding, courageous and playful Master Coach in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the founder of Peak Workout Business Coaching and the Family Business Performance Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.