Next Gen Panel: Developing Entrepreneurs in Every Generation

October 18, 2017


Continental breakfast

'Next Gen' Panel:  Developing Entrepreneurs in Every Generation.

  • Adam Blanck, Chief of Staff, Wallside Windows.
  • Kevin Coffman, President, Champion Screw Machine Engineering, Inc.
  • Jennifer Jackson, Vice President of Development, Hungry Howie's Pizza, Inc.
  • Duncan Smith, Vice President of Operations, All Star Services.


Next Gens:  Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Reinventors

From the EY Global Survey of the World’s Largest Family Businesses -- Staying power: how do family businesses create lasting success? “Family businesses and their leaders are the ultimate entrepreneurs. They must continually innovate to grow and pass on a thriving business from one generation to the next. Our survey demonstrates how this entrepreneurial thinking across generations results in business success and strong family ties.”

Real Stories of Next Gen Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Reinventors

  • Technology
    • Trying it your own way to save costs.
    • Getting everyone on-board to understand the need.
    • Using it to full potential.
    • Resistance but being forceful.
    • Educate and be patient.
    • Open mind – force them to see the value.
    • Adaptability.
  • Training
    • Consistent message.
    • Have a plan – communication.
      • Clear expectations.
      • Clear vision/goals/company values.
  • Direction of industry
    • Technology; online; data.
    • Proactive change to business model.
  • Order fulfillment process
    • Knowledge from prior work.
    • CRM system.
    • Increase efficiencies and effectiveness.
    • Lesson:  success in “change” starts at the top.
  • Blockers
    • Tenured employees.
      • “Why do we need to re-invent?”

How Can Family Businesses Develop Next Gens as Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Reinventors?

  • Interests lead to ideas.
  • Mentoring:
    • Family
    • Other employees
    • Advisors.
  • Outside training.
  • Cultural:  explore outside business boundaries.
  • Work first outside the family business.
  • Hard-knocks.
  • Control bleeding with “hats.”
  • Trust decision-making.
  • Don’t undermine through other people.

How Can the Senior Generation Help (or Hinder) this Development?

  • Micromanaging.
  • Senior generation needs to get out of the way.  Loosen reins.  Delegate.
  • Teach decision making process – and then be supportive.
  • Let next gen get involved in decisions.
  • Be open minded – don’t limit because of age or gender.
  • Allow next gens to make mistake – and improve outcomes.
  • Executive coach.

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