Here’s a list of some emotions that could be invoked when the Next Generation contribute to the renewal of a shared vision. Spoiler: several of them don’t appear to be positive emotions!
Awkwardness: members of the Next Generation can be very aware that it’s not ‘their’ company. They didn’t create it, they weren’t there for its early steps. So there is a question of how much contribution they have – especially if the founders are still alive.
Fear of seeming unsupportive: if you’ve grown up with a family story filled with heroes then it can seem like a betrayal to do things differently. It’s no fun to feel like you’re going against a long-established view.
Wariness: the Japanese have an expression that any nail that stands out in a plank of wood must be hit with a hammer. Of course people will be wary about speaking their mind if there’s a chance of being hammered down!
Frustration: when a vision only has a few words, each word or phrase is the subject of intense discussion. It can seem to take a long time to achieve just a little progress.
Inspiration: a vision can capture important ideas for a better future. It can provide purpose and direction for oneself and others. Awesome!
Enthusiasm: it can be so exciting to work with family members on a project where you are relating adult-to-adult and making use of all your professional skills and perspectives. When family business is good, it’s really amazing.
BFF subscribers can find out more by logging into www.businessfamilies.org and watching our video A Sibling Perspective on Articulating the Family’s Vision.
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