Family business often encounter tension when a new generation comes on board and brings with them new ideas and ways of doing things. While continuity is important, change is also unavoidable with the passage of the time.
The old say ‘I have eaten more salt than you’, implying that the older generation always knows better; but this mindset is not always helpful for business that is undergoing transition. It is important for the new generation to try their best to adapt and carry on the business. It is likewise just as important that the first generation accept that the younger one will bring about change.
In family business, the older generation should expect their children to come back after studies, with changes. But, knowing that, it’s not that easy for them let the children take risk in changing things. It is even harder for the children to balance between being a successful entrepreneur and a good son.
In a traditional family structure, parent take on a more authoritative role, while children are expected to obey. This rule can’t be applied to business. If the younger generation is only taught to follow rules, than what is needs is really just employees, not a generation who will succeed in business. The older generation must accept the fact that they want them to be better, thus accepting the fact that they are going to change the family business. Older generation must take to guiding and not demotivate them.
The transition can be made smoother by allowing their children to explore new ideas and to innovate and improve the business. They have to understand that young people like to talk about ideas, so give them opportunities to test out their ideas. Do not always turn down their ideas as they will lose the motivation to work. To avoid conflict between the two generations, it’s best to ask them to justify their ideas and calculated risks.
It’s important for both generation to
· Share knowledge and experiences as both have expose in different areas and ways of doing things,
· Be receptive toward what the young ones have to offer
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On Family Business: PKT Logistics Groups
SMEBIZ, Monday 18 January 2016