Panel – Family Business: leveraging the tradition of innovation and sustainability

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Session recap

Family businesses capitalize on endemic advantages

Building a family business that can last for the long term takes more than dedication and hard work: innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit are also must-haves. So, too, is planning for the next generation.

In tackling these challenges, family businesses benefit from the agility and adaptability of a more compact decision-making process, panelists said. And their ability to focus on the future, rather than the latest quarterly results, can also lead to a competitive advantage.

Another strength of family businesses is their dedication to their employees, who many times are considered part of the clan. Family businesses often feel a responsibility to take care of their employees and are less likely to resort to layoffs during downturns.

The result is a loyal, more stable workforce — another competitive advantage.

Each generation gets an opportunity to redefine the family business, helping to keep it dynamic and innovative.

But planning for the next generation of family leaders can be a major challenge. One leading practice is the creation of a charter with rules and preconditions for succession.

Another is to encourage peer-to-peer learning, giving the next generation an opportunity to gain perspective as they prepare for their leadership role.

Panel chair

 

EY - Peter Englisch

Peter Englisch
Global Family Business Leader
EY

 
Panel members

EY - Ross Perot, Jr.

Ross Perot, Jr.
Chairman
The Perot Companies and Hillwood

 

EY - Florian Langenscheidt

Dr. Florian Langenscheidt
Founder and Chairman of the Board
CHILDREN FOR A BETTER WORLD