MARÍA LLADRÓ, ASSOCIATE CONSULTANT OF TRANSFORM ACTION AND HABITUAL COLLABORATOR OF EL MUNDO – VALENCIAN COMMUNITY – SPEAKS US HOW TO MANAGE COHESION IN THE FAMILY COMPANY.
This week I participated with Professor Manuel Bermejo, of the Instituto de Empresa, in a webinar on how to manage cohesion in the family business. Professor Bermejo is the author of the book Governing the Family Business (2017), in which we find an exquisite and entertaining analysis of the evolutionary stages of this type of company.
Is it possible for business families to clarify, understand, agree? Yes it is. We will see your keys in the program “The Family Business 4.0” that will take place in Madrid in the month of May under your direction.
The reflection that I bring today is how we understand cohesion. If we do it from a traditional and somewhat childish perspective of being together, eating together and working together, -excuse me the exaggeration-, or a more adult, more open and more transformative cohesion.
To illustrate the difference between both ways of understanding cohesion, I propose to go to two puzzle games: the puzzle and the trangram. The latter is a very old Chinese game but little known by Westerners. Both have pieces but the difference is that in the puzzle each piece has a fixed place while in the tangram the pieces can be combined in many ways.
In the key of a family business, a puzzle-like cohesion can stifle or demotivate some of its members because it conditions them to a way of life. In the puzzle you enter or do not enter, you are or you are not, the frame is established. For those people in the family with more creative desires or greater autonomy, the image of the tangram helps to visualize that it is feasible to be cohesive in many different ways.
In fact, all companies, including non-family companies, must practice the cohesion between their shareholders and employees as adults. Puzzle structures abound where you have to obey and comply, but tangram-like structures are more successful where people put their creativity and full capacity to contribute.
The necessary cohesion in this time, given the dynamism of the environment and how the younger generations come, must be a cohesion essentially free, of different people, multigenerational, that gathers around a common project
who have agreed and will continue to agree. There is no cohesion stronger than being in love with the shared dream.
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