Generation Shift

Case: Transferring trust and knowledge between generations

The Client:

A Family Business

A European truck dealer with 4 subsidiaries that provided exclusive sales, maintenance and repair activities in a 150 km radius. The company employed roughly 50 people and had a good reputation with its customers, leading to a good, stable business.

The owner of the company had 2 sons who worked in different areas of the company.

The Challenge:

Transmitting Know-How and Customer Trust

The father wanted to prepare his sons to take over the business but neither the father nor the sons knew where to start in order to transfer both knowledge and the strong customer relations. The sons, who were both confined to their smaller business areas, did not have sufficient insight into the company and how the business worked to know what to ask.

Meanwhile, the father couldn’t understand what parts of his work needed to be taught since everything seemed more or less obvious to him.

The Success:

Lean and Efficient Flow

With new faith in his sons, the father could reduce his activities and let his sons take over and share global responsibilities. The sons used their gained insights to change and improve existing working methods, letting them put their own fingerprint on the company and business.

This in turn led them to gain their co-workers trust and solidify their place in higher management. Consequentially, a new management was born, building on already existing assets.

How we did it

Our first step was to map all activities within the company. It might sound surprising, but when we started this process, all involved parts gained new insights into realized what truly happened in their company and how things worked together.

We pointed out the content, background and the required skills and know-how needed for each activity. This gave the father an accessible tool to use when communicating his knowledge to his sons and gave the sons a guide to what to ask about.

The mapping also meant that all weak points became obvious, making it easier for the new generation to take the right measures in order to improve and modernize the business. This in turn further strengthened their leadership role within the company. The father thus lost his role as the sole competence and gave him the reassurance he needed to no longer feel tempted to monopolize upper management.