Part of keeping a family business innovative is to encourage change and try new things.

One way to create culture change faster is to encourage the younger generation to join the family business. The younger generation brings fresh thinking, new strategies, and modern leadership styles.

With an increasing number of next generation family members choosing to work outside of the family business, there is a growing need to make the business more exciting to join—through new thinking and new opportunities.

10 Ways to Make Your Business Cool

  1. Balance respect for tradition with acceptance of new thinking.
  2. Avoid micromanaging—allow family members more autonomy.
  3. Accept the younger gen’s more balanced—think flexible work hours and remote workplaces.
  4. Be more agile and responsive. Speed decision-making and seize opportunities faster.
  5. Avoid being narrow-minded. Listen to other’s ideas and adopt them more often.
  6. Take more risks. Balance senior generation conservatism with younger generation risk-taking.
  7. Recognize that the younger generation grew up in a more collaborative world and communicate differently.
  8. Allow the younger generation to be more analytic. They were raised in more data-oriented environment.
  9. Make greater use of outside advisors. Understand that the senior generation doesn’t have all the answers.
  10. Be more receptive to adopting new technology.

It’s not a given that younger family members are going to join the business. Before encouraging them to join, be sure to confirm their genuine interest in the business and how it aligns with their career path.

Reprinted with permission from the Northeastern University Center for Family Business