In their article The Best Leaders Are Constant Learners, published in Harvard Business Review Kenneth Mikkelsen and Harold Jarche write that today’s business leaders must make meaning of a playing field that is constantly changing shape.
A valuable axiom for creating successful family businesses is that next-generation leaders need to keep their eyes on the future, while respecting the past. The challenge is perhaps never more trying than for those family businesses where past business practices have been successful and family traditions are strong.
“Sustainable competitive advantage,” Mikkelsen and Jarche write, “now depends on having people that know how to build relationships, seek information, make sense of observations and share ideas through an intelligent use of new technologies.”
In family businesses today, active application of this strategy is incumbent on the both the younger and the senior generations in order to maintain multi-generational success. And it works best when all generations are helping the others meet the challenge.