Decoding Tomorrow:
Futurism and Foresights Today

Foresights and ideas that expand minds and inspire a change of heart.

Beyond the Virus: Has the Future of Family Business Changed?

15 Jul 2020

Growing up in a family business is a different kind of experience, and has provided me with some unique insights - both positive and more challenging. Sadly, as I have written about previously in the Decoding Tomorrow blog, the company I grew up in - Georg Sorman AB - folded during COVID19, and while the brand lives on under new stewardship, it didn't make it beyond my mum's 3rd generation. It survived the Spanish Flu, 2 world wars, oil shocks, and multiple recessions, but the Corona-crisis became too much for mum and dad's 104-year-old retail shop. As a management consultant you rarely become a prophet in your own home town, so unfortunately my parents have also been my most challenging clients as a futurist and I have written about this extensively both in the books Digilogue and Seamless where we present multiple cross-generational perspectives of digital transformation and change. 

Family Business Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson

As a family business futurist (does this sound like a contradiction in terms?), it is of course disheartening seeing your parents', grandparents' and greatgrandparents' business folding, but I am always heartened as a human and strategist when family businesses from Mexico City to Peoria, Illinois, and Lima, Peru to Hong Kong ask me to advise them on their scenario planning for the future, and how to ensure you adapt with future signal. Disruption really is just a signal from the future that it is time to adapt. To learn more about family business futurism, you can tune into this podcast by Tharawat Magazine, the leading magazine on all things family business who recently interviewed me on whether the future of family business has changed given the COVID-crisis. 


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