Next-generation family business leaders

Ready to thrive in a disruptive environment

Long-term trends, driven by public policy and exponential rates of change in digital infrastructure, are fundamentally altering the global business environment. In this disruptive environment, family businesses need to challenge themselves – and this is an important responsibility for the next generation of family business leaders.

The Deloitte EMEA Family Business Centre recently completed a Next Generation Survey, taking an in-depth look at the opportunities and challenges that exist for family-owned businesses. Themes such as succession, disruption, growth and strategy were discussed. A strong contingent of Irish family-owned businesses completed this survey, the findings of which were released today and can now be downloaded below.

Anticipate disruption

Of the next generation of leaders of family-owned businesses interviewed by Deloitte, 56% of Irish businesses interviewed expect that the market in which they operate will face disruption in the next two to three years. 35% also expect to lose market share to new entrants. 

When asked about the catalysts of change within the market in which the business operates, economy (65%), customer mindset (60%) and public policy (46%) came out top from an Irish perspective. Interestingly, enabling technology was the third highest ranked catalyst from a European perspective at 54%. However, in the Irish market, just 44% of those surveyed noted it as a key driver of change.

Next generation family businesses: Leading a family business in a disruptive environment

The next generation

Just over half (56%) of Irish businesses surveyed say they have a strategy in place to anticipate disruption. However 50% see disruption as a normal part of the business cycle with 38% seeing it as an opportunity. 

While 65% of Irish respondents said that they discuss the potential for disruptions with family members, they appear to do so much less than their European counterparts (72%). 41% of Irish respondents indicated that they only discuss disruptions every 6-12 months whereas the majority of respondents in the rest of Europe discuss it at least once a month.

Fast and agile

According to the next generation, the biggest disrupting factor for family-owned businesses in Ireland is market disruption (40%) with changes in family relationships at 17%. 24% of those surveyed across Europe however, said that changes in family relationships was the most disruptive factor (24%). Again, this may be down to the impact Brexit is set to have on Ireland, and the uncertainty businesses face.

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