超越世代鴻溝

By Robert J. Tamasy

因為近年來寫了幾本書,我對具有歷史傳奇性的家族企業有些許研究。其中有兩間創始於30年代,到現在已經傳到第四代了。他們的故事非常激勵人心。

數據顯示,只有少數的家族企業能維持到第二代。傳到第三代還是由同一個家族經營者非常少見,而能夠經營到第四代的,應該算是非常特別了。我們就來看看這些能長久經營到四代以上企業是如何做到的?

首先,在歷經金融風暴以及科技文化上的變遷後,家族四代還能擁有共同的理想和堅持是非常幸運的。然而他們成功的關鍵卻是建立在很一些基本的信念上。

早期的公司都有自己的使命和重視的基本價值,他們會定期拿出來檢視。這些使命和價值都是白紙黑字寫下來的,所以很容易能拿出來複習,也能幫助這間公司的每一個人「同心合力」維持公司的企業文化,也同時鞏固在他們草創時期,他們創業維艱時的原則和價值觀。

這兩家傳承四代的公司都非常重視「殷勤工作」、「創新」、「卓越表現」和「顧客服務」。繼承者除了被教育這些基本的價值,也明自己在家族企業裡的身分不是只想從員工那裡得利的「小老闆」。這樣的觀念,應用在職場上也是如此。無論我們是經營自己的公司或者在企業上班,都要抱持著相同態度和原則來工作。在聖經中,這些基本的價值觀也重複被教導。

分享共同的使命 我們的目標是甚麼?為什麼我們在這裡?這些問題,在企業工作的每一個人都要明白也要能回答得出來的。耶穌在這裡做我們的榜樣。所以,你們要去,使萬民作我的門徒,奉父、子、聖靈的名給他們施洗(或譯:給他們施洗,歸於父、子、聖靈的名。)(馬太福音 28章19節)

擁有相同的異象 另一個企業裡,每一個人都應該能回答的問題是:「我們要往哪裡去?」「要如何知道自己已經到達了目的地?」耶穌在這裡也提供了我們一個很清楚的方向:「但聖靈降臨在你們身上,你們就必得椾能力,並要在耶路撒冷、猶太全地,和撒馬利亞,直到地極,作我的見證。」(使徒行傳1章8節)

知行合一 俗話說:「價值觀是在行動中領悟到,不是學習來的。」但是價值觀仍然應該像是行動一樣被清楚地表達出來。你要盡心、盡性、盡力愛耶和華-你的上帝。我今日所吩咐你的話都要記在心上,也要殷勤教訓你的兒女。無論你坐在家裏,行在路上,躺下,起來,都要談論。(申命記6章5-7節)

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。

省思/討論題目
你是否曾經在一個經營很多代的家族企業中工作過?或是和他們合作過?如果有,你覺得他們有哪些特徵? 你覺得為什麼企業要能世代傳承不是一件簡單的事? 文中提到清楚的使命和基本價值,長遠來說能使企業長長久久。你同意嗎,分享你的看法。 從屬靈的角度來看,我們如何能應用清楚的使命和基本價值在職場宣教上?如果你手上有聖經,想要查考更多關於這個主題的經文,請看:民數記15章38-41節;約書亞記1章6-9節;以弗所書2章10節;腓立比書4章8-9節;提摩太後書 3章16-17節

SPANNING THE GENERATION GAP
By Robert J. Tamasy

In recent years it has been my privilege to write several books telling the histories and legacies of multi-generational, family-owned companies. Two of these trace their beginnings to the early 1930s, and today they are transitioning into a fourth generation of family leadership. Their stories are inspiring.

Statistically, only a small percentage of businesses even pass to a second generation of family ownership; reaching a third generation within the same family is more uncommon, and successfully transferring leadership to a fourth generation is the exception. So how did these companies achieve such a rare feat of longevity?

Certainly they have been fortunate to have members of four successive generations that shared interest in continuing to work in the same industry. They have weathered economic storms through the years, as well as many changes technologically and culturally. But a key to their success has been maintaining an agreed-upon focus on what they might call “the basics.”

Early on, both companies adopted mission, vision and values statements they have revisited frequently through the years. Since these statements were formally written and adopted, reviewing them on a regular basis has helped to keep everyone literally “on the same page.” This has helped them maintain a consistent corporate culture, as well as to affirm the principles and values that have helped to sustain and build the companies from their humble beginnings.

Both businesses placed high priorities on hard work, innovation, excellence in performance, and customer service. Succeeding generations were well-schooled in these principles, impressed with an understanding that membership in their families did not “entitle” them to simply profit from the labors of others. Whether we run our own businesses, or work for established companies, we all can benefit from following the same philosophies. We find these concepts taught repeatedly in the Bible:

Share a common mission. What is our purpose? Why are we here? These are questions everyone in the organization should understand and be able to articulate. Jesus modeled this with His followers: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19).

Embrace a common vision. Another good question everyone should be able to answer is, “Where are we going – and how will we know when we get there?” Again, Jesus left His followers with a clear sense of where they were headed: “And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Adopt common values. It is said that values are more easily caught than taught, but they still need to be articulated as well as acted upon. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).

© 2016. Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. Bob has written Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; and coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring,

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Have you ever worked in a multi-generation, family-owned company, or done business with one? If so, what were some of the characteristics that you observed? Why do you think it is so difficult for a successful company to survive the transition from one generation of family ownership and leadership to another? It is stated that having clearly articulated, written statements of mission, vision and values can be very important for perpetuating an organization on a long-term basis? Do you agree? Why or why not? From a spiritual standpoint, how do the concepts of having a clearly understood sense of mission, vision and values apply? How can those spiritual principles relate to how we carry out our roles and responsibilities in the workplace?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Numbers 15:38-41; Joshua 1:6-9; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 4:8-9; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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