Recently I’ve been writing about the challenges of creating change initiatives in a family business where the older generation is in charge. One of Seth Godin’s recent blogs, Two Kinds of Practice, touched on what I see as a critical aspect of this inter-generational dynamic.
According to Godin, in the first kind of practice, we learn to play the notes as written, coming as close to a specified standard of perfection as we can. Applying this to family business, we learn to conduct business as the generation in charge does it. Practicing this way, Godin adds, we can become very proficient.
Learning to play the notes as written is sound advice. It respects the past while helping to develop an understanding of the family’s values and why we do business the way we do. The business environment though, is in constant flux—today more so than ever. The successful business will keep an eye on the future and have a mindset that embraces innovation.
The second kind of practice Godin describes as being “more valuable but far more rare.” This he says is the practice of failure. “Of trying on one point of view after another until you find one that works. Of creating original work that doesn’t succeed until it does.”
If you would like to discuss challenges to change in your own family business, contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To talk please call: 337-707-6301