Family companies that survived for more than 3 generations and what we can learn from them…
I will lay down 5 Neo-commandment learned through decades of hard work and perseverance from those who came before us. But before we do that, let’s just for a moment pretend someone came down from a mountain and gave them to us chiseled on stone tablets (or just on an really fancy gloving Ipad), maybe then we would start following them with a devotion they deserve and we have never seen before.
Here are the 5 guidelines than come from family companies, especially the ones that have survived for more than 3 generations that the majority of them were following and made them successful:
- Balance the motive of profit with the desire to help others.
- Implement long-term planning, for example 25 years in advance and not just for the next month or year.
- Getting shareholders that are committed and with emotions not like the profit driven crowd that owns today’s multinationals.
- Introduce the concept of stewardship/guardianship, which is also closely related to family businesses. The trustee is accountable to the family, employees, customers and the community in which he operates. He is not the owner of the money, he is the caretaker of it.
- Attention should be focused on social capital, which can be expressed not only as charity, but also as the reputation of a family or individual.
Ask yourself, how would these guidelines change the environment, you are working in? How would it feel to be part of an organization that follows these rules? What would need to change, where are the bottlenecks that are preventing this from happening? Whatever happens, one thing is for sure, change will come, if we are ready for it or not.
The new role models of the 21 century should be the stewards / trustees that have the capacity to lead the way froward. Thanks to all the family companies and the other stewards for showing us the way.