Clarity of purpose is essential to the success of any collaborative effort, enabling collaborators to align themselves on their journey towards a common goal. In a family business, that alignment can bridge the generational divide, creating the necessary common ground to foster continuity. But identifying and working towards a goal first requires family members to envision their future together and their desired role or roles in it.
For family businesses in today’s environment of uncertainty, the metaphorical beacon of a shared vision might be the only constant to guide them on their journey. Without eyes on a destination, there is no way to ascertain whether short-term directional adjustments are actually serving them or just bringing them further away from the desired outcome.
Internally, a shared vision gives cohesion to the various ways that family business members see themselves in relation to the legacy they are a part of. Next-generation business owners must not only engage with an established vision but also buy-in, own it and, in doing so, lend their voices to its shape. Moreover, promoting a shared vision is crucial to informing the activities, actions and strategies that help families achieve the kinds of long-term goals that go beyond financial success.
In this episode of LGA Lighthouse, Fernanda Jaramillo, Partner, and Ivan Lansberg, Founding Partner of LGA, talk about the significance of promoting a shared vision, including:
- How a family’s vision can shape the achievements that define the kind of enterprise, business owners and family they want to be; vision isn’t just something inscribed in a book or hung on a wall.
- Finding the right time for a family and its enterprise to embark on exercises to formulate a shared vision and design a process that facilitates intergenerational dialogue. Seeding readiness through education is a fundamental step in imagining the possibilities.
- Taking into account the individual dreams and aspirations of family members when shaping a common vision for the family enterprise, while also developing tools to deal with any conflicting visions that may result from differences between generations.
- Having a clear vision, including shared values and purpose to activate the family’s adaptive capacity and resiliency in the face of adversity, anchoring the tough decisions that need to be made during difficult times.
All enterprising families wish to promote the continuity of the family business, but to get there, they first need to identify a shared vision of their future. A well-crafted visioning process in which the voices of those most impacted by the decisions are taken into account will result in the commitment and trust from current and future shareholders in that shared vision.
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