The NextGen Affinity group met September 18th for their program on talent development facilitated by Kevin McCarthy, ChangeRX. Most family businesses have to deal with a host of complicated issues when it comes to retaining talent let alone developing talent. And, the complexity can be made more difficult when the family is involved. Or, is it? We did talk about the blend of business and family, but what we came away with was so much deeper. Yes, we all want our place in the family business and yes, we want to grow in our roles, and yes, it’s our responsibility to take our development into our own hands and be real with where we are today.Once we have identified where we want to be, and evaluate our knowledge, skills, and affect today and what needs to change to grow into our prospective roles/positions, the work begins. But, not in isolation. This is where we identify peers, mentors, and maybe even subordinates that can become light posts to help us see progress (or lack thereof). You see, change and personal growth can only be assessed by the people around us. Although it might be tempting to stop at telling everyone how much you have changed, well, it’s the people around us that get to be the judge of that.

Okay, so now we know where we are going. We’ve identified the knowledge and skills needed to be effective, and maybe we have garnered a few coaches along the way. What’s next? We sit down with our coaches and tell them that we are wanted to grow in a certain area and that you’ve laid out a plan to be more/less (you fill in the blank) and that you’ll meet regularly (when appropriate) to check in on the progress that you are making toward your goals.

And, the same holds true when we are developing our teams. We see where we need the company to go and we identify the skills/experience needed in our teams, and we develop them the same way. We come up with a plan to understand where they are with their skills/experience and invite them to own their development while seeing the gaps and their role in the family business.

This work and process are successful when people take control of their development and empower others to do the same. And, what makes things even better is that we as family business owners and NextGens can begin to shape the way we want to lead our family businesses into the future.

Save the date for our next meeting: December 4, 2018.

About this Affinity Group:  The NextGen Affinity Group meets specifically to share the experiences and challenges of taking on leadership roles in a Family Business. This peer networking group offers a forum for confidential and relevant dialogue among like individuals to share ideas, trends, issues and opportunities unique to the Family Business. Prospective members welcome. NextGen lead contact is Maggie Bender-Johnson. Affinity Group events are an FBC member benefit. For details on membership, click here!