The Welsh Wire: Wade Wyant of Red Wagon Advisors
Legacy is both a challenge and a blessing for established family businesses. “But the world doesn’t work with legacy, the world works off change, right?” says Wade Wyant, Executive Advisor/Scaling Up Coach at Red Wagon Advisors of Ada. He spoke recently with Sheri Welsh for The Welsh Wire podcast, sponsored by the Family Business Alliance.
“You look at the millennials and the change in their thinking around management and leadership and they want smaller teams, they want more dynamic accountability. There’s a lot of things, so your infrastructure, the way you lead and manage has to be dynamic, and you have to be able to grow and change as generations grow and change,” he says.
Another issue that plagues many family business operations is communications, which Wyant says can be resolved by focusing on getting everyone to use a common language. “Once you have a common language, there’s less challenges of interpretation — not all conflict goes away, of course, but some conflict can dissipate,” he says. Having a common language and vocabulary means “we’re all talking about the same thing, because that’s where a lot of problems arises. I say this, you say that, and we think we’re saying the same thing [but] we’re saying something totally different, right?”
Red Wagon Advisors describes itself as helping businesses scale themselves to their highest level of industry maturity. To get to that level, Wyant told Welsh that other key steps to family business success include focusing on marketing, creating a plan and investing in thought leadership, having scalable infrastructure, conducting better meetings, having a commitment to lifelong learning, mirroring the behavior that you want the next generation to have and setting realistic goals.
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