Encountering resistance to change has often caused the young members of a family to feel reluctant to join the family business. For the same reason some prefer to leave after only a few years of working with the family. Though raised in a fast-paced technological world and thus known as the early adopters of digital innovation, members of Generation Y are not always successful in effectuating change in their family firms. In the following article by Langdon Evans, Relationship Manager at TrustedFamily and member of a multigenerational family business, he explains why Gen Y members often fail at making a difference in the family business and how they can convince, not confuse.

Case in point

I was recently talking with a next generation member of a 3rd generation family business about the challenges incumbent upon bringing new ideas into a family business. At 23 years old, David (not his real name) had been involved in his family business for a few years and had noticed that his families approach to communicating with each other was in his words, “from the dark ages.”

David decided that he was going to help his family make a much needed change. Unfortunately, his first attempt at proposing modern communication tools involved simply printing off a few pages of information and approaching his uncle, the chairman of the board. Not surprisingly, David was shut down fairly quickly. He told me that he felt like the rest of the family was not giving him the time of day or the credit he deserved. “They only see me as someone young,” he said. “But I know my ideas would help change our family business for the better.”