Colliding generational perspectives, reinvigorating successful family businesses – intriguing new insights from the KPMG Enterprise and Family Business Australia 2017/18 survey report.
No one will be surprised that different generations within a family have different viewpoints – but when it comes to family businesses, these opposing opinions can in fact lead to the eventual handing over of the business to non-family members – or at worst – the closure of the business altogether.
This is just one of the intriguing insights from the KPMG Enterprise and Family Business Australia 2018 survey of family businesses in Australia.
Our investigation explored the ingredients of ‘socioemotional wealth’, or ‘SEW’, which is a measure of the non-financial aspects of the business, or the ‘emotional value’ for the family. SEW also links to the financial success of the business.
We looked at how current and future leaders perceived many aspects that make up SEW – and discovered some colliding perspectives that don’t bode well for a sustainable future. In fact, on most factors the incumbent generation were more satisfied than the next generation in line – a worrying finding for those intending to pass the baton soon.
We measured perspectives on communication (the next-generation definitely want more of it), future growth and performance (the next leaders want to go into new markets), transition strategies (entirely absent in many families), confidence and commitment (the next generation are feeling much more nervous about taking over than the incumbents expect), and governance for the future (some formal structures are in place, but much more could be done).
Of course, statistics are very useful to paint an overall picture. But to truly understand what these factors of SEW mean to a family business, we have worked closely with three Australian family business families to uncover more insight.
The Valmorbida family of Melbourne, who are behind Italian food and wine importing business Joval Group; the Dowsing family of Perth, the force behind concrete business Dowsing Group; and the Fleming/McLean family of Bundaberg, owners of beverage company Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, all kindly shared their perspectives.
You can read about their journeys with communication and conflict, passing on wisdom, preparing for the future, and much more, in the report, and hear from them in person in videos that you can click through to watch.
We hope you find the survey findings and family stories as interesting and thought-provoking as we have, and that they inspire and empower you on the path to building even more prosperous family businesses.
To discover more about the intergenerational differences in family businesses, and the keys to success for the future, you can read our full 2018 report.