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The culture of company renewal

An overview of the steps to achieving true innovation in production organisation, as well as errors to avoid.

 

The process of change and constant renewal, not only to survive in the marketplace but also to gain increasingly profitable positions, can be summed up in just a few words: creating development and well-being. This is the usual recipe, renewal in order to move forward, but seldom is it fully applied, nor, even more importantly, completely understood by those who apply it. This is why reading Alessandro Scaglione’s ‘R-innovare il family business. L’intelligenza naturale dell’imprenditore contro la crisi globale’ (‘re-innovating the family business: the entrepreneur’s natural intelligence against the global crisis’), is the perfect step towards a deeper understanding of these topics.

The author is a management engineer who has long been involved in competitive strategies and globalisation processes, with a special focus on family businesses in the B2B context. In his book, Scaglione starts from the assumption that a family-owned business needs to build a strategy that involves both maintaining brand identity and international action, in order to be competitive in the marketplace. This is a clear indication, which nonetheless is not immune to a series of obstacles. It is thus necessary not only to avoid the most common errors (such as self-referencing, singular passage from father to son, attention solely on the product), but also be able to organise the best structured production. This implies not only making the best of what we call stakeholders, but also a strong propension to innovation (both in product and process) and a move towards globalisation that goes beyond the often negative step of offshoring.

Scaglione explains all this in a book that is densely written yet easy to read. He begins with an introduction on family business organisation before moving on to illustrate a method to analyse it. The author then proceeds to a close analysis of the most common errors that companies fall into, after which he discusses the ‘roads to innovation’: on the one hand, an attentive use of information technology and on the other, taking a new look at the very way production is organised.

The essence of the book (approximately 250 pages) is in the subtitle of the final chapter: ‘Awareness and intelligence as a competitive edge’. The author summarises this well-rounded company culture in the final pages of his work. ‘The company culture merges into the views held by people, who in all respects become the ones who convey its value and worth.’ He continues: ‘We should not be ashamed to be slightly philosophical about our vision and instil in it the ethic of a company culture that places the ‘person’ at the heart of an ecosystem of collective interest. It is only through self-recognition, an identity and a sense of belonging, that we can unlock untapped knowledge and potential, transforming them into a competitive advantage that generates short-, medium- and long-term value.’

‘R-innovare il family business’ is great on the first read and well worth a second after a while.

R-innovare il family business. L’intelligenza naturale dell’imprenditore contro la crisi globale

Alessandro Scaglione

Guerini Next, 2019