What’s your family business origin story

Picture of John Broons
John Broons

John Broons is a globally awarded family business expert. One of only three people in Australia to hold the coveted title of Fellow of Family Firm Institute (Boston, USA), John has dedicated his working career to answering the question: how do I guide and support families in business to a place where they’re thriving?

The origin story of a family business is like a chapter in a book that carries the weight of generations, the foundation upon which your business was built. Documenting that story is more than just capturing moments in time; it’s about preserving a legacy that can be passed down to future generations.

The origin story of a family business is like a chapter in a book that carries the weight of generations, the foundation upon which your business was built. Documenting that story is more than just capturing moments in time; it's about preserving a legacy that can be passed down to future generations.
Your guiding values shaping history

Every family business has its own set of values that shape its history and culture. These values are the guiding principles that have allowed your business to flourish and overcome challenges. They are the essence of what makes your family business unique and provide a foundation that future generations can build upon. It’s not enough to simply live these values; we must actively pass them down to our family members, ensuring that they become ingrained in the very fabric of your business.

Weaving past and present

As time passes, your business evolves and generations change, there is a real danger of future generations forgetting the ‘why’ behind their family business. The stories that were once known by all family members and the passion that fueled the inception of the family business may dissipate over time. This loss of connection to the roots of your family business can result in a loss of identity and purpose.

A simple solution is creating a timeline of your family business’s history – a tool that can weave together your past and present. Begin by capturing the key milestones, the triumphs, and even the challenges faced along the way. And don’t forget the most crucial element—the reasons why your family business was started in the first place.

Preserving the legacy for future generations

The benefit of capturing your family business origin story is that it preserves the legacy of your family business for future generations, allowing them to understand their heritage and carry it proudly forward. It also helps to maintain the unique culture that lies at the heart of your business.

By preserving the values that have guided you for generations, you ensure that your family business remains authentic and connected. These values also provide future generations with invaluable learning tools, teaching them the lessons learned from both your successes and failures, and shaping them into leaders who can navigate the ever-changing needs of your family business.

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