The issues associated with barriers to growth when considering the next generation do vary from the founder’s challenges. They can also vary in terms of which generation we are considering – second, third or further on in the business life cycle. The need for a clear sense of purpose is just as vital, but can become less of a focus. Purpose can be lost or misinterpreted. Fear of living up to the previous generation is very often a critical factor. In summing up the key challenges, the list of founder’s challenges are all just as relevant to the next generations, with the addition of:
10 key challenges for a next generation:
1. Valuing the experience of what and who has gone before, but realising the future is yet to be written
2. Appreciating and balancing everyone’s thoughts and views around you whether they are in the business or not
3. Proving your worth to the family and business
4. Balancing transition. Have a development/mentoring plan with external experts as well as the incumbent generation
5. Developing systems and processes, including solid governance, to continue the journey towards the one big picture
6. Clear roles and responsibilities, which play to individual skills and strengths
7. The family business bubble –failing to see what’s happening in the world around you, especially if you’ve not worked anywhere else
8. Acknowledging and dealing with the feeling of loneliness, isolation, fear of failure and needing to be good enough
9. Admitting what you want and/or need to others
10. Getting the right advisers and support around you.
Dani recommends keeping the following advice in mind
• Be realistic, honest and inclusive, with yourself first of all, then with others.
• Invest (in terms of time, education, personal development) in yourself first so that you can invest in others and the business.
• Use neutral support.
• Remember that ownership and management of a business are not the same.
As well as being a family business oursleves, most of our clients here at Aardvark Marketing are family or owner managed businesses, so we are proud to be service providers and supporters of Families in Business. If you’d like to find out more about the organisation or how to join, please get in touch,