Corporate Vision Family Business
In a globalised world, families and their organisations face both challenges and opportunities. Global complexity, succession planning, investment strategy, adapting to rapid change and how to create cultural innovation are just a few of the complex issues that can generate family tensions at different times within the business lifecycle and family history.
Corporate Vision® Family Business: A holistic process
We work in Corporate Vision® projects with first generation (founder/s), second generation (brothers & sisters) or third generation (cousins) businesses or where all three generations are co-existing. Using our Corporate Vision® System - Family Business methodology, we diagnose the core issues and areas to solve and help align all family members around a common strategic vision that renews family enthusiasm, unity and leadership.
Long experience working with large family businesses around the world
We have decades of experience working with large family owned multinational businesses (private or public) and family offices. We act as a positive change agent and strategic partner. Our process overcomes internal resistance and creates the pillars for the formation of a family’s renewed culture, refined family protocol, more novel organisational structure and a better philosophy for emotional equilibrium.
Corporate Vision Family Business
Industry: FMCG private family business.
Geographies: Operating globally with a confederal (decentralised) model.
Financials: $6billion valuation. Ebitda positive in some operations, others unprofitable. Large debt. Company exposed to big currency fluctuations in multiple countries.
Competitive landscape: Larger public multinationals with bigger pockets and resources. FMCG sector in transformation and open to radical product innovations.
Strategic decision making: Without a central vision driving decision making, strategy was scattered in different business units with several investments in new product lines and new manufacturing delivering negative results.
Family members working in the business: Seven second generation members with first generation retired. Third generation preparing to join the business but not yet ready or willing due to family conflict.
CASE STUDY INTRODUCTION
A second generation family owned multinational business in the FMCG sector started to have internal conflicts about business strategy and the future direction of the firm.
This crisis was accelerated due to market and industry complexity and also financial pressures from investors and lenders. Many family members were scattered around the world running diverse national operations. Despite weekly and monthly central management meetings to try to effectively run the business, the family had reached a strategic mis-alignment. The company was delivering erratic performance and the family was in constant disagreement about its future direction.
FAMILY CONFLICT IMPACTS BUSINESS GOVERNANCE
This situation created conflict with the management of the firm, resulting in a high turnover of staff and with some top managers leaving to join competitors. The family had reached a ‘stalemate’ that would make decision making and the running of the global business difficult, if not impossible. The future of the company and the family was in grave danger unless rapid action was taken.
OUR FAMILY SOLUTION: THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF THE PARTS
Using our Corporate Vision® Family Business methodology, we recommended which family members to involve directly in the project. We developed, a ‘strategic scenarios’ plan to show the future alternatives for the family and the business. Each scenario had positive or negative outcomes depending on how the family decided to work together as a unit. These future vision scenarios created a powerful narrative for all members to agree to and a new ‘family mindset’ and promise for collaboration based on common ideals for the family’s future survival and balance. This strategic process helped individual members to see the ‘big picture’ with total clarity allowing them to understand their future role in strengthening ‘the whole’.
We recommended changes to the organisational structure, including the redefinition of the roles and skills required by the various family members. This improved the relationship and governance with the non-family members of management and other key stakeholders. Our project included creating a new ‘future mental model’ that included new strategies and missions (future challenges) for the family to achieve as a team.
FAMILY ETHICS, UNITY OF PURPOSE AND SUSTAINABILITY
We made refinements to the existing family protocol and created new family ‘values and missions’ to guide family ethics and behaviours. We assisted in the creation of a new Family Foundation, that some family members would run, to rationalise family investments in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable development around the world. Our project generated immediate results, eliminated internal conflicts, created unity of purpose and clarified direction, improving decision making, strategic intent and speed. Most importantly, it provided external investors with a renewed trust in the family and the future of the business.