Family firms not adapting fast enough - survey

  • 13/04/2016

The majority of family-run companies around the world are not adapting fast enough to meet the needs and opportunities of the new technological age, a survey has found.

The survey, carried out by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, focused on the younger family members soon to take leadership.

The "next gens" have growing confidence and clear ideas of where they want to take the business, but the survey says they still experience a strong "pull of the past".

While some family firms reinvent themselves, not all of them manage to adapt quickly.

The survey identified three key gaps threatening the successful transition from one generation to the next:

The survey reveals 88 percent of next gens want to do something special with their businesses, making them not just bigger and stronger, but more international and more modern.

Fifty-nine percent of next gens would like to diversify their product portfolio, but 68 percent believe their firm is unlikely to make this change, even a decade ahead.  

The survey features a story of a New Zealand family's logging business, that "spent a lot of time monitoring trends" in its sector and felt it couldn't afford to be left behind.

"Our experience in New Zealand shows us that digital and the role of technology are increasingly being used to improve productivity," says Maurice Noone, regional managing partner at PwC New Zealand. 

This also brings new challenges, as recent regulatory changes such as the Health and Safety at Work Act, require closer monitoring policies, he says.


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