Is having a family mission important?

By SOCH Business Mentors LLP Posted September 6, 2022 in Insights on Family Business

Is having a family mission important?

Your mission is your family’s reason to exist.

Let’s take a reverse scenario, just for fun and perhaps make the point come home:

Why should we as family businesses bother about our mission, purpose and any such fluffy, softy, or simply an incompetent – Leaders do bother about such things because they have hard balls to play in business – right!

I mean, if at the end of the day it is all money that counts. Relationship are only till you have money and the more money you have the stronger your social ties are and of course they help you grow more money – right!

So, companies run by family businesses must only get honest with them that nothing matters and only money matters. Are you as a family business owner thinking and talking to yourself more about capital, ROIC, percentage and money, money, money…?

So good then we are having absolute integrity with what we believe that is money is the first and last thing that matters. And when money is flowing why really care about nice concepts like mission, purpose and values – At the end of the day neither socially someone vouching and swearing on your mission centricity nor you in your daily thinking process give more than an ounce of attention to these concepts to ingrain in the core operating model of your money making machine!

Ah! there maybe a good reason to have mission purpose and values etc. on website because we are a nice people image is so critical to not get challenged.

So, putting it simply – heck the mission and pick honesty that money and only money counts. I believe only soft hearted businessmen have space for such fluff. The hard nuts business people care nothing of such drama!

Here, the reverse scenario ends.

To those audience if this reverse scenario resonated and they go ra! ra! reading this should quit reading further this article.

For those who are perplexed and feeling uncomfortable they should quit too. Only those who felt detesting sense while reading the reverse scenario and have felt that it is insane to not live in actions the mission if at all long term business abundance and impact is important.

Before those who leave from here reading further – thank you for your time.

Actual usage and long term business benefits comes when family business by choice (usually, non-negotiable) make every strategic imperatives gets sponsored, invested and commenced only if they makes the family mission live-on. This is their recipe to create a formidable business portfolio that creates deliberate impact in the world and all stakeholders.

They build a reputation not on bada bhai ya bade papa, instead, they make an institutional success as priority and everyone in the family commits to institutional reputation through mission & values, commits to institutional success & power in helping employees and every other stakeholder thrive with meaning & fulfilment. They suspend the urge of making someone in the family a hero on which everything depends.

Family businesses have proven to be one of the most sustainable and long-term bet-able formats of business. Yet, most family businesses lose their way. Be it internal dynamics or external pressure, family businesses tend to deform in its shape and strength.

Even as the family grows, new members join, and new generations come into decision-making – what remains as the common binding force for all family members are the family values and the family mission. Creating a shared family mission will help to steer the family and the business through the next stages of growth.

Many family businesses ask us if Family Mission is truly important.

We tell them: It is a sense and a spirit that helps family businesses thrive from one generation to the next..

The sense and spirit of mission is what is the true legacy that passes on from one generation till the end of time. This sense grows in its existence and meaning.

The method through which this sense and spirit is developed, managed and grown is embedded within the expression engineering of what truly the family stands for (i.e. The Family Shared Values).

Family Shared Values are not what you want to portray your family as. Rather, it is what each member of the family truly lives out of.

Can family businesses do without a family mission?

Family businesses who do not have a family mission make a silent choice to not put their true collective potential to use, individually and collectively. They underestimate their collective strength, potential and power with which they can make a real difference.

The irony here is: Most family businesses do not even know that they are operating with limited potential. In few cases, family businesses who do recognise this, do not gather the courage to voice this to other family members and seek external help.

At SOCH, we have always helped our clients to differentiate between a mission on the wall and a mission that is carried in hearts and behaviours of all stakeholders throughout the family enterprise.

This isn’t easy.

It is easy when you have clarity.

You have clarity when you really want to have the clarity.

Getting clear is a choice

If your family enterprise mission makes you happy, you are going all wrong about it.

Your family mission must make you restless. It must make all of you restless every day, every night.