How to measure whether your multi-generational business is heading towards real harmony, unity, and hence abundance (or) to disintegration?

By SOCH Business Mentors LLP Posted March 14, 2023 in Family business

How to measure whether your multi-generational business is heading towards real harmony, unity, and hence abundance (or) to disintegration?

There is one common thing across all the truths – Truths are always simple. And with simple things, there is an amazing twist – they appear doable! Such as holding an open and honest conversation. 

But are the family members doing it? And mainly, are they doing daily as the shining reflection of the family? Furthermore, members live the family culture with real selves speaking out openly and honestly with no fear or aggression (active or passive).

I cannot say for you, but our clients accept and work hard on creating a culture of living such truths by every member. They take the help of the family constitution and governance to ensure that culture is built across all heads, hearts, and souls of family members using these powerful tools for institutionalising family.

The more helpful, effective, and adapting systems are equipped in the family for creating this culture with daily alignment, the better it gets. 

If multi-generational families take it on chance and do not choose as soon as the second generation is in their young adult form, disintegration begins slowly. This disintegration won’t come to the surface immediately with one suppressed (or active) conflict or few, but eventually, in less than a decade or five years, things will become quite difficult than they need to be.

Another usual challenge where simple truth gets hard to do is once the constitution is done, the family believes that we have arrived where we wished to be. What advantages do we get from implementing a family constitution through family governance? Why shall we consider implementing it via the structured method in the family? 

I share a quick story one of our storytelling coaches uses with clients to bring the above point home: 

In the wintertime, when deep snow lay on the ground, a poor boy was forced to go out on a sledge to fetch wood. When he had gathered it and packed it, he wished, as he was so frozen with cold, not to go home at once but to light a fire and warm himself a little.

So, he scraped away the snow, and as he was thus clearing the ground, he found a tiny golden key. Hereupon, he thought that where the key was, the lock must also be, and he dug in the ground and found an iron chest. “If the key does but fits it,” thought he, “no doubt there are precious things in that little box.” He searched, but no keyhole was there.

At last, he discovered one so small that it was hardly visible. He tried it, and the key fitted it exactly. Then he turned it once round, and now we must wait until he has quite unlocked it and opened the lid, and then we shall learn what wonderful things were lying in that box. 

The truth in this story is if you try to figure out what would unlock the treasure of family businesses’ true prowess and power, then we got to have three things:

  1. First, the box with treasure – that is your family constitution.
  2. Second, the golden key of the box – an instrument or tool to open the locked treasure in the box – family governance, only a tool and nothing else. 
  3. Third is the action. Turning the key in the keyhole to experience the beautiful things lying in the box – this action of turning the key is all about livingthe family constitution and all its great content using family governance.  

Governance is that golden key to opening the box…… 

Outside the above-story world, governance creates a consistent alignment, accountability and deep belonging among all members while they strive to live their family constitution. 

Hence, the business, ownership, family, and wealth decisions are aligned to deliver remarkable shifts in real harmony, fuel business growth, and increase trust among members to new levels. 

Like the rising mercury, it becomes measurable with the family that holds this treasure box, the golden key, and daily turning the key. When multigenerational families don’t have these in their second generation, the invisible yet pertinent disintegration begins that appears in the later stage of either the second or early third generation stage. 

It is important to envisage that measuring when family is integrating, uniting, and breathing in harmony is far healthy than compared to when disintegrating. Again, a truth – Simple.