The Covid pandemic has jolted us, affecting our lives in profound ways. It has also prompted us to re-examine the meaning of our lives, how we impact others and how our world will change. At the peak of the pandemic, our hopes were that we will learn to see the world and our lives differently.
As we go back to normal, however, many things have changed in ways that will surely challenge family business owners and managers.
The fragility of institutions
The advent of the Covid pandemic coincided with a growing debate on the future of globalization, the role of international institutions and the importance of nationalism in global business decisions. These forces were worldwide; however, they were most visible in the USA and Europe.
The social role of technology
Another key lesson of the Covid pandemic is the growing global recognition of the vital importance of technology. It is no longer only a means of getting things done and products made and transported. Perhaps more important, it is an essential means of communicating and connecting that give our lives sustenance and meaning.
Meaning, culture and identity
Family firms are distinguished by their unique identities, which are grounded in the owner family’s values, history and modus operandi. This identity is further refined and reinforced over the successive generations of family owners. Such an identity shapes a firm’s culture which, in turn, defines how members of the company see their roles.
The benefits of family business ownership
The literature also suggests that family businesses derive important benefits from their ownership. These benefits stem from the deep bonds and attachments that develop between owners and the family business, this as well as employees’ strong identification with the company’s mission, unique and enduring organizational culture, etc. Covid opens an interesting chapter in these long-standing relations. The main question here is did family firms survive the pandemic at higher rates than other firms?
A broader definition of social impact
The Covid pandemic has also heightened awareness of the role of the family business in society. We have seen many family businesses offer their resources, skills and expertise to address the problems their communities and companies in their networks have experienced. With so many groups afflicted by the pandemic, much was and is still needed to address issues such as hunger, homelessness, unemployment and illness in their communities.
In conclusion, many expect family businesses to change in radical ways post Covid. It is the belief of many that such predictions ignore the realities of these family businesses. Important lessons from the pandemic have been learnt, especially about the limits addressing crisis management. A great deal has been learnt about family firms’ innovation and improvisation and how they ensure the family business‘ resilience.
(All factual and statistical information presented in this blog has been obtained from an extract of an article from the familybusiness.com ) Follow us on our Facebook page and Family Business Office website at www.familybusiness.org.mt
At the Family Business Office we can offer you assistance in dealing with family business succession planning issues through incentives supporting advisory and mediation services. Contact us today on .