Getting buy-in for fresh ideas

By Hedda Schupak

In a family business, change can be a source of friction between generations. Here are some suggestions from NextGens on how to achieve buy-in for your ideas.

Know your market. Identify how you can better serve customers’ needs or reach out to a new customer base. Brainstorm creative approaches.

Overcome the fear of failure. In today’s rapidly changing marketplace, maintaining the status quo is usually riskier than innovating.

Learn from other companies. Many NextGens seek jobs at major companies before joining the family business so they can get an insider’s view of a successful business plan. Also consider joining a peer networking organization like YPO and forming a board of directors or advisers.

Earn buy-in from your family. Build a track record of success to establish credibility with your parents and other senior family members. Once you have proved yourself, they will be more inclined to support your innovation plan.

Build a team that supports your strategy. Explain the strategic plan to employees, and make it clear that those who resist will need to exit.

Approach challenges with passion. In order to succeed at breaking the mold, you must be fully committed.

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