Date posted: October 6, 2015

What? Another Prime Minister??

I’ve been avidly following the changes happening at the highest level of our country and trying to work out what’s causing most of the ‘fizz’. Whether you like Abbott or Turnbull, whether you comment ferociously online or tweet your feelings in pictures, or just sit back a bit bemused at all the kafuffle, I see the underlying cause of the hand wringing and fist pumping is our discomfort with Change.

Change is a muscle and when we use it often we get pretty good. I remember when I was travelling – every month was another country which meant another language, another currency, and, even harder to get on top of, another cultural set of rules and behaviours. After a year of this lifestyle I embraced Change and relished the next challenge. Decades later, when I had been stable (in every sense of the word) for a period of eight years I was confronted with rather dramatic Change in my life and for a moment I thought the best course of action was to panic followed by a long indulgent period of pathetic melancholy. A family member made the wry observation that I used to be a lot better at handling Change. Ooh – that stung! But it got me in the right direction to start working that muscle again and build up some stamina.

From the Qld government website comes this:
“Managing people through change involves motivating your people to work together on planning and making the changes, and giving your team clear goals and defined roles.Good change management processes start with a realistic analysis of your business systems, processes, structures, strategies and leadership approaches to determine the actual need for change. Determining why, what and how you need to change – and involving your people in each step – will help you manage a smooth change process, strengthen your business and retain your key staff, business skills and knowledge”.

This says to me that family businesses should be Masters of Change. It is a natural behaviour to have everyone involved in lots of discussions, and building processes with buy-in across the family and the business. It’s the difference between ‘training’ and ‘learning’. Training could be seen as simply applying information from the outside whereas learning is developing Change from the inside out. Our family business leaders are passing on their passion, entrepreneurial flair and understanding of the customer to the upcoming generations allowing for motivation and planning to naturally develop within the family.

Emotional maturity along with integrity and compassion – cornerstones of families in business – are more important skills when managing Change within an organisation. So I imagine family businesses all around Victoria will be doing what they do – running an eye over the headlines, shaking their heads and returning to the real business of changing and growing and building amazing things.

Nicola McKay
VIC State Manager