The 'missing middle': Bridging the strategy gap in family firms
This is the 8th PwC Family Business Survey and it’s the largest yet. We’ve spoken to firms approaching their first generational transition, and those that can measure their longevity in centuries. We’ve talked to founders, next gens, and professional CEOs. We discussed global megatrends such as digital and globalisation, and the challenges of ‘keeping it in the family’.
Key issues stay constant year-on-year, but there is also change. In 2012, the dominant themes were skills, scale and succession. By 2014, this evolved to a focus on the need to professionalise both the business and the family. This agenda is far from complete, though progress is being made. This year, the shift is perhaps more fundamental: from the short term and tactical, to the medium term and strategic.
The challenge is in the middle: having a strategic plan that links where the business is now to the long term and where it could be. This is what we are referring to as the ‘missing middle’.
Family firms are ambitious: they want to grow and ensure the long-term success of their business, but it is clear that many of the issues they face derive from a lack of strategic planning. Some are doing this, and doing it well, but in our experience, a much higher proportion are so absorbed in the everyday that longer-term planning is neglected.
Family firms remain a vital part of economies across the world contributing the bulk of GDP in many territories. We’re committed to working with family firms and helping them make an even bigger contribution to growth and prosperity.