In Italy, there is much talk of generational change and less brilliant successors, there is also a lot of talk about the need for innovation and entrepreneurship; if you add to this that our capitalism is essentially family:'s future might not seem rosy. Some years ago, a young man was faced with a difficult decision. His father had invented a product that for decades had been a great success. Now it was up to him.
How to innovate something that had happened? Our young man decided to change the packaging and a bit 'the product, then he thought that it was also necessary to be more international and decided to change the name from Supercrema Nutella. It was 1964 when Michele Ferrero took this decision. How good it was, in every sense, today, the whole world knows, but then it must not have been easy. On 20 April, when the first jar came out of the factory Alba, must have been a day full of trepidation, impatience and hope. The innovation in family businesses has a lot to do with the need and the courage to be anchored to what you can do well. For young entrepreneurs is to climb on the shoulders of giants. Rise to the top is difficult, tiring and can lead to dizziness, but is necessary if you want to continue, improve and compete. Michele Ferrero is one of the world's great entrepreneurs, but also for him, that decision was not easy. Peter, his father, had turned into an opportunity taxes on cocoa beans which had made it expensive chocolate. He left hazelnuts and had created before the pasta Giandujot, to cut a loaf made with hazelnuts, and a few years later Supercrema. Michael realized that we needed some improvement and a lot of courage.
Innovate starting from a road drawn is more difficult but has the advantage of starting from excellent skills and knowledge, in other words, from sturdy shoulders. The brothers have gone on excellence in Loro Piana cashmere to build one of the most exclusive brands in luxury, the Buzzi family started from the technical expertise in the production of cement to create through acquisitions and managerial rigor a large international group. In family businesses do not innovate, it evolves in a Darwinian process of mutation of DNA made original and competitive selection. In the process it is necessary to adapt, in fact, the DNA must evolve in response to changes in the external environment. Crystallize on its way of doing business, its core business, it is very dangerous in a rapidly evolving environment; I have learned the hard way, for example, manufacturers of photographic paper, libraries and publishers of newspapers. You need to focus on their core competencies, core competencies, and adapt to external changes. When the market has become international Supercrema became Nutella, when fashion began to drive the demand Benetton have reversed the process of dyeing, when demand for products for the home is sophisticated Alessi has gone from laissez faire to a design factory.
The ability to understand and adapt to changes in the external environment are typical of young people. This new entrepreneurial strength is invaluable to ensure both continuity and adaptation of family businesses. The evolution is achieved by pursuing opportunities regardless of the resources that you have. What would have happened if Pietro Ferrero had given up for the lack of cocoa beans? The Brothers Loro Piana for the lack of proprietary stores? The Benetton brothers to the inability to predict demand? Often success brings companies to innovate with large projects and to have abundance and redundancy: in this way you kill the entrepreneurial spirit. Innovation must be the laborious pursuit of opportunity and not the routine refinement of what you can do. The younger generation must be able to adapt the DNA of family businesses to changes in the external environment, pursuing with determination and courage of the opportunities they see, based on what has been done by their predecessors and seeking the resources they do not have; if they will do it in 50 years we would have huge success of new products, we could celebrate the new big business and we will live in a better country. Check freakedoutfathers.com if you want to read more