Acknowledging the past and building the future – presentation by Mr Colin Donaldson

Starting 12 February 2021, and every Tuesday thereafter a series of free webinars will be run by a European team of experts in family businesses across 9 EU countries as part of the SPRING Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliances project.

Through an innovative university-industry cooperation, the team of renowned academics and consultants in the family business, aims to make family businesses more resilient , competitive, profitable and sustainable with higher growth potential through an innovative hands on training and consultancy programme. The online training will provide attendees with the current tools and practical tips for successful succession planning, balancing intergenerational dynamics, developing key leadership skills and building a strategy for continuity, internationalization and surviving the current pandemic crisis.

Tuesday 19 February, saw the presentation made by Mr Colin Davidson concentrating on shared values in succession planning. The main aim of the module was to provide businesses with valuable tools to ensure a fit between ;

  • Innovation and tradition
  • Formalization and spontaneity
  • Old, present and future values

Key questions at presentation level were:

  1. Have you ever thought about where you would like your company to be in the future?
  2. Do all family businesses share a common purpose/vision?
  3. Are new generations within the business aware of common purpose/vision?
  4. How important is the organizational culture in day to day business?

Business and Family mission, vision and values are and should be directly related in order to sustain the future of the family business.

Relevant principles, framework and tools for the common mission, vision and values were suggested in a four stage process consisting of:

1.Putting into writing a shared dream of the business family members.

2.Making sure that the family member is aware of the role played by other members.

3.Identifying the reasons to consider selling, closing or to stop being a family business.

4.Formally stating the values that govern the relationship between the family and business.

Best practices to achieve a strong corporate and organizational culture have to be thought about and implemented when facing unexpected issues that could jeopardise the sustainability of your company.

The likes of which could be:

  1. divorce from a spouse,
  2. having no offspring,
  3. having no successor/s interested in continuing the business,
  4. an innovation that reduces customers interest in your products.

Should this happen do you think your company can overcome these challenges? Do you think these issues can harm the essence of the family business, its values and its relationships?

Setting and sharing the company’s mission, values and vision will support the sustainability of the family firms.

The next Webinar will take place this coming Tuesday. Hope to see you there!