We continue our series of mini interviews with Dani Saveker on the challenges facing family enterprises and the Beyond Business Summit, the first event designed specifically with this sector in mind.
Dani, as the owner of a family enterprise yourself, what would you say was the major challenge you faced on a day to day basis?
Of course like any other business leader I had the usual accounts, employee and customer issues but if I focus on the specifics of being part of a family enterprise, it starts with loneliness. There is an external belief that families provide a cosy environment and yet I see on a daily basis, and experienced personally, how isolating it can be even when you love your family dearly.
Balancing the conflicting demands of multiple generations, ages and agendas both in and outside the business is difficult. Add to this the responsibilities and expectations upon your shoulders which are almost impossible to discuss and share with anyone else and heading up a family enterprise becomes a tough gig. The result of this pressure can be a stifling of creativity and innovation, and the inability to look beyond today and focus on the wider purpose.
The challenge of living a life you own and want is significant. I would have given anything to be part of a community and support system which understood all of that. The day I had to make my uncle redundant was just one of the bigger challenges I faced, but there were continual smaller ones which built up over time.
How does FiB, and the Beyond Business Summit in particular, aim to help family enterprises overcome this challenge?
Through connecting people, sharing stories and equipping people and families with a new set of approaches and thinking to help them through the journey – whatever their stage and issue on a personal level. One of the most significant things is the support and understanding.
Is this limited to family enterprises only or is it a challenge faced by the wider business community?
No, it’s open to all. I believe we learn truly valuable and unique lessons from family enterprises – they are the extreme. This means that anyone can benefit from understanding the new Global System which we will be revealing at the Summit. The issues that I see in professional services, non-family enterprises, schools and charities are all related to what we will cover in the two days. In fact, everyone should understand the importance of going Beyond Business and the Global System.