Fear or Dreams

Seth Godin recently wrote in a blog that motivators for important actions come down to either fear or dreams http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/09/dreams-and-fears.html.

Godin is writing from the perspective of how marketing is positioned. Fear and dreams are equally strong motivators in family businesses, especially during times of impending transition.

Both parents and children can experience fears of being left out, of lack of purpose, inadequacy, being rejected, not being needed, becoming powerful, supplanting a parent, loss of financial security, or dying.

Dreams focus on the future and help us see beyond our fears. The catalyst for a successful transition lies in the answers to: When your grandchildren take over, what do you want for your family and business? What do you want your children to be like? What do you want your family and business to look like? How do you want them to be standing with respect to others and within their community?

Drop me an email or give me a call if this is a concern for you in your family or business.



We Are An Eight-Track Tape Deck…

…or we are a buggy whip or any other product whose purpose is largely irrelevant to the needs of the current marketplace.

Family businesses, built on the vision and hard-work of their founders, may no longer be viable a generation or two later because of the inevitable changes in the external business environment. Herein lies the danger of failing to envision a future for the business apart from the founder’s dream.

Building a culture of innovation into a family business can be challenging and require multiple approaches. To meet this challenge successfully, the stakeholders must come to grips with the fact that change needs to occur in order to save both the business and the family’s legacy.

However the need for innovative change may not be obvious. Even if seen, it may be resisted by the incumbent generation. Developing a culture that continually welcomes innovation as part of your ongoing business strategy–in talent acquisition, systems development, methodology, risk taking–will strengthen your possibility for success as a multi-generational family business.


For Older Family Business Leaders Goals Turn Inward

A family business has been established for many years. It has been guided to a level of maturity and success and is firmly established. For the leader of such a firm, focus now shifts from financial concerns and growing the business to an emphasis on human contact and relationships.

Instead of seeking outside professionals whose primary goal is helping the business maximize its financial wealth, older leaders of family firms seek the advice and emotional support of an inner circle of friends and relatives. Close relationships take on central importance, as do family harmony and ensuring an enduring legacy.

Understanding this shift is critical for the success of aspiring next-generation leaders and their advisors.