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David Werdiger's Familosophy

The kids aren’t interested …

Medium to large sized family business (turnover $50M+) have a problem: the next generation aren’t interested in joining. There are so many options out there in the job market (jobs that didn’t exist in the previous generation) that the family business often doesn’t hold an interest.

Grant Thornton’s July 2017 report ‘Diversity of Thought in Family Businesses’ discusses the risk-averse nature of mature family businesses that can often be an impediment to the next generation wanting to make changes.

Many family businesses suffer from two big issues: (a) younger generation being frustrated and the older ones feeling disrespected, and (b) a reluctance of the founders to step aside (the so-called ‘sticky baton’).

It could be useful to think of this in ‘purpose’ terms, as per the previous article. If the foundation for intergenerational family connection is a purpose that transcends the family business or wealth-generating capacity, then discussions about what the next generation do with their lives are built on a stronger foundation.

Consider This: If the next generation don’t want to join the family business, then either the business might need to change, or the next generation might need to change. Which of those is more likely to happen?

Original articles:

Here is more on reading on family business governance.

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