Ensuring that any business thrives long-term is a challenge, add the inevitable struggles that come with family, and suddenly, the reality of creating an enduring business becomes daunting.  It is doable, however. Some of the largest, most successful, multinational firms are family-owned. How are these companies able to sustain this success despite rising generations, ever-changing markets, and the unexpected? 

There are four key attributes that successful multi-generational family businesses must have that help them not only survive, but thrive from one generation to the next:    

  1. Each individual must be a contributor. Simply being a part of the family who owns a business doesn’t automatically entitle you to significant roles in the company. Successful family businesses place great importance on earned achievement through hard work and individual contribution. Rising generations must add value to the business and understand that involvement is a privilege that should be earned, not inherited. Family members can encourage this understanding by introducing opportunities to work early on as well as encouraging family members to get additional education and experience.  
  1. Understand where you came from. In other words, have great respect for your elders and those who came before you. Respect is a very Asian value, but it is key to success in any culture. Those who came before are responsible for the success earned thus far. Recognizing those achievements while seeking to contribute your own strengths will create a strong sense of culture and appreciation.
  1. Embrace the generations to come. Just as young members of the family need to respect those who came before, senior leadership needs to recognize and embrace the importance of future generations. By investing interest in younger members of the family, senior members of the family are investing in the business. 
  1. Respect for family values. What you value as a family is what makes you unique as a business. Without family values, your business will not withstand changes and challenges.  Multi-generational corporations are based on core beliefs and values that guide the trajectory of the business. Those values guide the decisions made on behalf of the organization. When these ideals are clearly understood by not only family members, but those who are hired to work with the family, the business has a greater likelihood of enduring. 

The key to sustaining a successful family business is to focus on the family aspect of the business. These four attributes are necessary for that success. Learn more about THP’s multi-generational story by visiting my website today.

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