Traditions are essential to family-owned business. They don’t just transfer ownership to their children but also pass down their family’s traditions. Studies from the beginning suggest that traditional values were a barrier to change. Because they burdened families’ business with the past.

Traditions, for instance, can cause family businesses to be risk-averse and less creative. Because the survival of the status quo over everything else. In some business families, leadership is pass down to the eldest son. Regardless of the existence of more skilled and dedicated younger siblings.

In a recently published article that we co-authored with two other authors within The Family Business Review. We recommend that family-owned businesses should not be so quick to dismiss traditions. Although traditions are typically unchanging, the way in the way they’re pass down. From one generation to next provides opportunities to think creatively reinvent them.

The ability to manage traditions more effectively can allow family-owned businesses to address. Two of their primary tensions that are the need for modernization of the company. And the necessity to honor the vision of the founder.

Traditions Tension Between Change And Continuity

Family-owned businesses struggle with the necessity of maintaining the sameness despite ever-changing market demands.

Respecting your founder’s vision frequently causes families to prioritize the sameness over innovation This is commonly call the innovation paradox. Compare with non-family counterparts Family-own businesses known to less creative due to their commitment to their traditions. Other research suggests that certain family businesses are more creative due to their heritage.

To comprehend these contradictory results, we must think beyond. The notion that the tradition of education limits our ability to invent.

When we look at the real-world traditions you can observe them as rigid. In the HBO show Succession, Logan Roy is commit to traditional media. However, his son Kendall is determine to expand the company’s boundaries and extend to digital channels. Logan’s position creates tension in the relationship between both generations.

But, by trying to find ways to alter the meaning of tradition family. Businesses will be more flexible to change them as time passes

The Lessons Come From Greek Traditions Folklore

The interplay between what certain traditions about and how we honor them can understood in the Theseus’s Paradox from the legend of Plutarch in the ancient Greek folklore.

Within Theseus’ Paradox, Theseus’s ship, which was preserve by the Athenians was restore and improve over the course of a long time. Even though the components replace, the significance and authenticity of the ship was not lost until the structure was completely change.

In retelling the story of the ship, the basic elements of traditional practices such as the custom scan preserved over generations, but be update to remain relevant to the current world.

Instead of letting their traditions keep them from embracing change The most successful family-owned businesses continue renovating and renewing their business in small increments, and making their innovations not an attempt to disrupt but as one of consistency.

If Applied to Succession had been implement If Logan Roy had instead focus on how the business could keep its tradition and values, as it branch out into new technologies, he might have open the company to new ideas and adapt as time passes.

As with the ship of Theseus, Roy family business could rebuilt piece by pieces over the years to stay up to date with the changes in the landscape of media but keeping the structure in place.

Generating Tensions

Very few family-owned businesses last past the present generation. One of the reasons for their demise is that it is only the senior family leader can make decisions.

The resultant lack of ability for the next generation to take choices can lead to tragic results, such as Sophocles the story of Oedipus the King of Thebes who, without knowing it, kills his father, gets marry to his mother, and causes tragedy to his kingdom and family. The play reveals the horror that could occur when power of decision-making is denied to the future generation.

When applied to family-owned businesses When applied to family-owned businesses, when applied to family business, Oedipus tragic event suggests to exercise power of decision-making, the next generation needs to take down the past by means of destruction through creativity. But in family-owned businesses this type of behavior tends to be destructive rather than creative because succession is dependent on intergenerational cooperation rather than conflict.

In Succession, the story is play out in the second season. When Kendall told by his father that he’ll take responsibility for the company’s misdeeds and, as a result, strip of authority to make decisions Kendall makes an Oedipus-esque decision (minus his incest) and a liar to his family and father and nearly destroys the entire business.