Tuesday, April 17, 2018
During the past several years, family businesses are finding the depth and bench of their leadership talent may not be what it had been. What can families in business do to intentionally develop the next generation and nurture better owners? As the Baby Boomers plan the transition of the business to the next generation, families must intentionally help the next generation grow and develop. The potential talent pool already knows and understands the family culture. The investment is truly building the legacy and looking to the long-term as the next generation is nurtured.
So what are a few intentional ways to develop the next generation?
1. Continue to develop yourself: As a leader in your family, you set the example. Seek to learn and grow at whatever stage of life you may be. The more competent you are, the more likely people are to trust you. Developing oneself influences relations with others, motivates others, and inspires others.
2. Carefully select learning projects: Everyone has areas of growth opportunity. Take time to analyze what the business will face in the future and intentionally have the next generation take responsibility for beginning the investigation or data gathering of what and how the business can address the issue. The opportunity to learn the business, craft analysis and presentations will help the next generation face future business needs.
3. Utilize 360 Degree Feedback: This feedback can prove invaluable to gain deeper insight into how others view them. Many times we don’t know what we don’t know, and that is what can create bigger problems for the next generation later on. This can be a very valuable learning opportunity, BUT IT MUST BE DONE VERY CAREFULLY.
4. Build exposure to other leaders: Broaden the opportunity of the next generation to network with seasoned leaders of other Family Owned Businesses. This often may be the opportunity through involvement in trade associations, Family Business Forums, or the local Chamber of Commerce. Either way, it must be intentional.
5. 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. I know one business family that has rotating seats on their Board of Directors for the next generation.
6. External Coaching: Sometimes our children hear things differently, more clearly, and more receptively from an ‘outsider’. 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.
What has or is your Family intentionally doing to develop the next generation of Family Leaders?
Let us know, we would be delighted to include it in the future.