Exploring your history/roots to shed light on what makes your family business unique. You’ll discover beliefs you all share but largely go unspoken. The goal here is to create a shared, written understanding of the essential beliefs and values your family business represents. Open up discussion using the questions below.
Values can be the driving force behind your family business’ strategy, identity and brand. These will be largely influenced by your business’ history and legacy within the community.
- What values have contributed to our family’s success?
- What does our family stand for/believe in?
- What values can we identify from our founder’s early successes and failures?
- What is our family’s responsibility for the business and community?
- How have our family values translated into business values?
The conditions and actions taken during the business’ early years provide keen insight on the core entrepreneurial behaviors that built the company. Inspire your team with the founder’s value-creating mindset and work to build that legacy.
- Why did our founder(s) start the business? What specific need did we aim to fulfill?
- What was the market like at this time? Competitors? Customer demands?
- At what point did other family members join the business? What was this time like?
- How does our family capture the story of its enterprise?
- What role has innovation played on our business? How do changes supporting innovation relate to the family vision?
Successful businesses evolve over time. Discuss the (market, regulatory, technological) forces at play that drove the business to make these strategic shifts. Navigate your current business environment better by building on what got you here.
- What does our family business’ history and traditions tell us about how we’ve handled strategic change in the past?
- In the past, how has our business handled: quality, consistency, risk, innovation, competition, availability of resources, etc.?
- How has our company evolved over time? What situation(s) or event(s) led up to this?
- What were some of the wrong turns taken in our early days? What did we learn as a result?