Worldwide, executive coaching is over a $1-billion industry, according to the Harvard Business Review. Business coaching in India is part of the larger business performance enablement market, which is growing exponentially as companies demand accountability, productivity, and results from their employees. Family businesses promote entrepreneurship and generate wealth and security for the next generation (next-gen) of owners. The very things that make family firms so wonderful such as the highly personal relationships, the inherent loyalty, and commitment, and the flexible structure, are those that pose challenges in the long term.

As Tracy Perman explains in her Business Week article entitled “Taking the Pulse of Family Business,” two broad trends are visible in the realm of the family business as we get comfortable in the 21st Century. First, the aging of the baby boom generation signals a coming ownership change for many family businesses within the next ten years. Second, more and more of these businesses will be taken over by women, continuing a trend that has been visible since the turn of the century. 

To ensure organizational effectiveness and growth in the long term, the next gens needs to recognize and understand both the strengths and the weaknesses of family businesses. Finding a balance between respecting the processes of the past, and seizing the opportunities that the next-gen sees for the future, has always been a challenge in family firms.

So, what role does Executive coaching and Business coach play in grooming the next generation of leaders (next gens)?

Coaching helps next gens to align themselves with the existing values and fabric of the company. Many next gens feel they have to work harder than other people to prove themselves as they are expected to take on a governance role in the business one day.

  • Well-managed integration at this time goes a long way in the future success of the business. The next-gen is exploring new ideas, new markets, new locations, and even new business models. Leadership coaching helps the next gens to manage change sensitively.
  • Coaching helps developing decision-making skills as well as the ability to build consensus. Family firms pride themselves on their quick decision-making, but if the next gens wants to change something that their parents spent their lives building – this needs to be managed sensitively.
  • Management Coaching helps to develop the insights and abilities required to create collaboration. The next-gen leader has to manage multiple stakeholders, who have seniority and experience on their side.
  • Business Coaching helps young leaders to develop a clear vision for the future and articulate it so as to get buy-in from all stakeholders.
  • Corporate Coaching is one of the most valuable methods to ensure the successful handling of the inter-generational transition. Succession needs to be planned a long time ahead. Building on the strengths of the older leadership, and drawing on the energy of the young, is a balancing act. Coaching helps to make this a rewarding experience rather than conflicting.

If the conditions are right, working in one’s family business can be the most amazing opportunity. Coaching can help you be part of something you really care about, become a guardian of it, and perhaps, one day pass it on to your own children. It doesn’t get much better than that!

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