In a recent Wall Street Journal survey, approximately half of the responding companies indicated that they plan to increase their leadership training budgets as a result of the recognition of the cost effectiveness of building leadership from within as opposed to only looking externally to hire key talent.
For family owned business, the next generation of the family often provides the talent pool for the next generation of leadership. It takes intentional, focused efforts to grow and develop the next generation. It is an investment not just in the next generation, but in building the family legacy.
Progressive family owned business leaders do certain things to foster leadership development within their organizations, including continuing to develop themselves; carefully selecting learning projects tailored to individuals in the next generation; and utilizing 360 Degree Feedback.
There are also other things that such leaders can do to foster the next generation and build leaders within their organizations.
Build exposure to other leaders: Broaden the opportunity of the next generation to network with seasoned leaders of other family owned businesses. There may be opportunities to do this through involvement in trade associations, family business forums, or the local Chamber of Commerce. Either way, it must be intentional.
Exposure to the Strategic Agenda: Invite the next generation to sit in on the planning discussions for the next business cycle. Do it now, before they will be expected to make the decisions. Show them your thought process. One business family that we have worked with has rotating seats on their Board of Directors for the next generation
External Coaching: Sometimes the next generation hears things differently, more clearly, and more receptively from an ‘outsider,’ such as an executive coach. The coach must understand the issues and concerns of a business family, be committed to the success of the next generation and the legacy of the business, and have the ability to both push and pull the next generation along in their learning process.