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PwC: 2019 US Family Business Survey

Creating stronger foundations for the future.

Originally Published by PwC.

By Jon Flack, US Family Business Leader

Welcome to our 2019 edition of PwC's US Family Business Survey

  • 62% expect upcoming family members gain outside work experience
  • 58% have succession plans, however most are informal
  • 47% of next generation leaders take on non-senior roles in the business
  • 39% sit on the board of directors

This year's findings speak to the importance of being prepared to compete in a far more digital economy, a challenge for business leaders everywhere. CEOs globally are working to bridge gaps in their data capabilities. Yet family businesses are coming into this arena with an advantage. They have built valuable trust among loyal employees and their ownership group. So how to turn values like loyalty and hard work into a multi-generational success story? We see four moves ahead to consider to build a lasting and profitable legacy:

  1. Codify your values and purpose into your strategy. If this is where your family business has a competitive edge, take it to the next step.
  2. Ensure the next generation is deeply involved - they have a lot to offer families grappling with digitalization.
  3. Determine the skill sets needed for a more digital future. Raising the 'Digital IQ' of the business is closely entwined with raising digital capabilities of existing workforce and determining future skill sets. With 80% of US CEOs expecting AI to significantly change the way they do business in the next five years, the race for talent will only intensify. US family business leaders are aware of the challenges, keeping and rewarding employees are seen as top priorities.
  4. Professionalize the board by bringing in independent directors with external expertise in future growth areas for your business.

Thinking through the implications of a more digitally-integrated economy should not be decoupled from thinking through who should run the business in the future and who can best help guide it.

I hope these findings serves as a useful starting point for conversations you will have with the current and next generation of leaders as you set a course for continued success.

You're invited to register with us to receive the full report. Let us know if you have any questions or would like to discuss.

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