Have you come across in your or other multigenerational family business where cousins and brothers hold wonderful asset-class business capabilities, delivering a consistent long-term thrive and success to your family enterprise?
Did you notice the sheer presence of their produce stunning growth effects?
Did it occur to you how the family would have developed such a powerful generation of cousins and brothers? Is that a sheer accident or a stroke of luck?
When we meet the ownership and key family members of a multigenerational family business and ask these questions – 9/10 hold question-filled silence or not-so conviction-led yes! of many.
Around 50 of them we met last year, and 90% were in the former case of holding silence.
This has puzzled me beyond belief, but data suggests India-wide, that be the case.
Upon conducting structured research on this puzzle following outcomes come across as listed below:
The upbringing stage of the next generation growing from a young toddler (2-3 yrs) to an adult (18 onwards), has these crucial stages of mental model development and core psychology, which together drives all behaviours of today:
- Formative years (1-5 years of age): Children don’t have analytical or linguistic skills to express fully or comprehend what is told to behave and follow at will. What they have as their learning engine is what they see instead. They do see parents behaving in a certain way and loved ones around.
- They see everything that the home and broader family environment must demonstrate visibly. It is this seeing for them that becomes believing. What do they see if they are third-generation kids born with a silver spoon? Nothing that is said to them has any effect but what they see. Whatever they see about relationships, money, values, or anything, whatever they see is what makes their core belief. This core belief, as your own core belief, helps them to view the world not as it is but as your projected beliefs upon the world, creating your version of the world and its definitions and ways of working.
- Born in silver spoons, if they saw that money holds disproportionately greater value than the work ethics taught, what would they create their world with? What reasons would they make as their drive to own and run a business in inheritance? What belief would they wear as a sunglass to view the reality ahead of them? How would this impact their interest in the business?
- Adult stage (18 yrs & above): This is when all formative stages of learning and programming come to real life and begin their real impact on family, business, and every other sphere of adult life.
All that builds from here on could be an essential rear-view mirror driving unless there is a system in place in a family that builds reprogramming of the present generation and lays a foundation to save and strengthen all future generations yet to come.
Thus, in case the next generation at your business seems to hold a high-value asset class status in contributing to business and growing the business and keeping the family together united in harmony, what you have demonstrated and exhibited in behaviour for decades from his childhood is paying off. Well, it was done hence. But there is a lot more that can be achieved. I will share insights, experiences, and possible ways ahead later.
Although, about the point that children don’t do what you say but do exactly what they see. To quickly make the point come alive – I ask you a funny yet revealing moment you may have experienced, “Have you been to London airport, say, London Heathrow?”. If yes, what is your observation between people who board the plane, say from Mumbai and land at Heathrow in 10 hours direct flight? Have you seen a visible behaviour change in you and others when disembarking the plane at the terminal?
Did you notice that you wouldn’t have the urge to speak loudly as we do at Mumbai airport? Did you notice that you wouldn’t have the urge to move lethargically even when tired? Did you notice that you had automatically made your usual phone ringer volume silent? Did you notice you maintain great discipline while carrying your hand baggage or excited & naughty little ones? Did you notice that you followed instructions about where to go for immigration and later until exit, but no one said anything about how to behave at Heathrow airport? Did anyone teach? No. Did the stewards on the plane from Mumbai to London make you aware of how to behave in the UK?! No. Then, how can this behaviour modification occur despite decades of childhood habits of doing otherwise than above? Think really!
The above experience you would have or already had displays clearly that people, even and not only children, don’t do what they are told but do as they see! At Heathrow airport, British culture and beliefs are embedded in the environment’s architecture. This embedment of culture imbued in the very air of the environment transpires individuals from more than 200 plus countries coming every day and night to behave unequivocally without anything said.
So, could you help yourself think that you, as a first-generation or second-architected an environment in the family and in business which would have made the silver spoon born third generation imbibe and behave all that the environment must help that young man to become a true asset or liability?
The key for families to build such an environment which inspires, triggers, corrects, and help everyone to behave as per the family identity is the system of a family constitution. Your constitution must be executed by living the system, which architects that very air in the family home and business which creates every next generation as a high-value asset of yours and not otherwise.
I hope this helps. If you desire clarification for your multigenerational family, do not shy away. For the sake of your good, I would encourage you to write to us, and I shall be able to clarify over email or whichever mode you prefer.
Have a wonderful day and week ahead.