Shared vision & effective next-gen leaders: Two sides of the same coin

Steve Miller

Steve Miller

Past research has shown that lack of a shared vision and ineffective next-generation leadership are some of the top threats to a family firm’s long-term success. Research by Steve Miller, a strategy and entrepreneurship professor and co-founder of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Family Enterprise Center, shows that those two factors are also highly related.

Miller shares tips for conducting a family enterprise vision and strategy workshop in an article published by The Family Business Consulting Group.



Help the family owners create realistic goals, and keep them front and center.
Ask family business leaders for insights to help owners understand what is possible.


Hold strategy workshops on a regular basis.
Strategic thinking is extremely important for a family enterprise. Be sure to include next-gen family leaders working in the business in strategy sessions.


Create an overall strategy for the business that is grounded in market data.
Engage next-gen leaders by asking them to help research and analyze industry data.


Imagine a future for the business in which all things are possible.
Temporarily suspend your focus on constraints to help family business leaders see new possibilities.


Identify and create a plan to close performance gaps and improve execution.
Focus on executing your current strategy before introducing a new product or service.


Communicate on a regular basis with all family owners, including those who are not active in the management of the business.
To successfully create and execute a shared vision, you must have input from all major stakeholders.


For more on the research behind these tips, read the article in its entirety.

By Cooper Biersach (BA ’91, MBA/JD ’96), co-founder and director of the Family Enterprise Center