Family businesses should trust in next generation leaders to thrive in digital age
Family business NextGens view themselves as agents of change for digital transformation but are looking for greater support and trust from current generation leaders, according to a new report by PwC.
The study has found that a majority of NextGens are already deeply engaged in the family enterprise, with nearly half (48%) reporting that they already run significant internal operations. A quarter (26%) are already in an executive director position.
This level of engagement is also matched by future ambitions to lead, with 41% seeking an executive director role within the next five years and nearly a third (29%) looking to be a majority shareholder.
Confidence is also high amongst NextGens about the value they can bring in terms of skills. Over two-thirds of respondents see their strongest attributes (problem-solving and leadership) to be essential skills in the future business landscape. 64% say they can add value to ensure future business strategy is fit for the digital age.
The survey identifies four key personas of NextGens, based on their views of their skills, contributions and career goals. These personas are:
Transformers: Self-confident future leaders (46% of respondents)
Transformers aim to lead change in the family business and are more likely to aspire to executive roles within five years (56% of transformers said this vs. 41% of all 956 respondents)
Stewards: Keeping to tradition and existing networks (26% of respondents)
Stewards are more likely to be over 35 than other NextGens (42% vs. 36% of all respondents) and to be in a management role (44% vs. 39% of all respondents).
Intrapreneurs: Proving yourselves by running ventures under the family’s wing (20% of respondents)
Intrapreneurs are more likely to feel the need to prove yourself before presenting ideas for change (27% vs. 21% of all respondents).
Entrepreneurs: Following your own path outside the family business (8% of respondents)
Entrepreneurs are less likely to see themselves as future leaders of the family business — though they want to lead their own business — and are more likely to aspire to a governance role in the family business (for example, on the family council).
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