Apple equal to Steve Jobs; Virgin Group equal to Richard Branson; Facebook equal to Mark Zuckerberg. Although we have talked a lot about the importance of building a personal brand for an entrepreneur, if it is used incorrectly, this factor can sometimes play against the permanence of the company.
A direct relationship of the company with its founder can serve both to generate loyalty and pride in the employees and to establish the values of the organization. But beware! prevent your company from being dependent on you, or on the founder (double danger if it is a family business).
For this reason, we share with you six risks that your company has such a close relationship with its founder -you or another person- and how to reduce them:
1. Resistance to change
When the founder of a company is no longer present but his legacy remains, there can be a risk that employees want to keep things as they are “because that’s how it was done in the days of Don…”.
We know that the companies that remain in time are those that are willing to innovate and adapt to the market so it is important that the innovative and collaborative environment is part of the company culture, and not just the way you work.
2. Difficulty in diversifying or making adjustments to the model
Many times out of respect for the founder, other times out of fear of the unknown, but some companies decide to stick with a line that worked for some time even though it is outdated or inefficient for current market conditions.
It is not bad that the company values the founder’s dreams and are an intrinsic part of the business; what is important is knowing how to make these changes always preserving values and ideals, understanding that times and consumers change.
3. Ignorance of new leaders
Constantly linking the company to a single person can make it difficult to create new leadership. No matter how long you’ve been with the company (or your replacement director), employees could stay with an absolute loyalty to the previous figure and ignore the new one.
For this reason, it is important to carry out the succession between managers correctly; introduces new people, as well as their skills and abilities to take the business to the next level.
4. Possible disappearance a posteriori
Many consumers argue that when Steve Jobs passed away, Apple stagnated. They declare that their latest releases have been only small modifications of their own devices and that the glorious days of the brand are behind them.
If this strategy doesn’t work for them, if the market gets tired of it, or if Apple stops betting on innovation, it’s likely to go away over time.
To ensure the permanence of your company, make sure that the values and strategies are based on the company, on its values and on obtaining committed talent that can innovate and revolutionize the brand again.
Depending on one person can be very counterproductive; In addition, keeping an exaggerated cult towards a human being can prevent the company from moving forward and concentrating on new business goals. It is also possible that this fanaticism prevents seeing warning signs or overcoming failures (tell us: “How is it possible that the company that Don founded…is bankrupt?”).
To avoid falling into fanaticism, try to respect and promote the founder’s ideology, but be careful not to fall into exaggerations and elevate the founder to superhuman levels that prevent people from seeking to follow his example.
6. Loss of reputation
The bad reputation of a person, especially a founder, can completely sink a company and even a large corporation. Remember, as human beings we have flaws, so if the work is separated from its creator it is easier to avoid problems related to scandals or conflicts.