Respect for the past, and values passed down from generation to generation provide family businesses with a base for innovation and success – says Dr. Adrianna Lewandowska, President of the Family Business Institute. The inspiration for them were the speeches of owners of leading Polish and foreign companies during the Third International Family Business Congress “Between tradition _AND INNOVATION” which made Poznan the capital of family entrepreneurship. The event organized by the Family Business Institute and attended by over 300 participants, took place on April 18-19, 2016.
Innovation – a step towards the globalization
Sofie Winkhaus, the 5th-generation successor of the window fittings’ manufacturer – Winkhaus from Münster, insists that product life cycles are getting shorter, what means that investments must pay off faster and faster every day. Personally, she is constantly looking for innovation not only by herself, but together with her employees at several locations in Europe.
According to Solange Olszewska, owner of Solaris Bus&Coach, companies must be innovative to be successful on the market. Solaris, for the first time, introduced low-floor buses and vehicles of stainless steel in Poland. Today, the business family is proud of hybrid buses – with two engines: a traditional diesel and an electric one.
About innovations in his global enterprise talked Dr. Zbigniew Inglot, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of INGLOT. The first innovation was a cartridge with color cosmetics, which clients can compose by themselves. The second one was breathable nail polish. It was developed together with the University of Science and Technology in Krakow – the composition enables water penetration through the surface. The company relies on the cooperation of science and business, which gives reason to think that innovations will arrive soon again! And with a business model based on franchise, a new brand store arises in the world every two days.
To build innovations, you need to build a strong and creative team – its importance to the global success emphasized Izabella Wałkowska, President of Plastwil. Among the qualities sought in employees she lists professional competence, values, passion, commitment and being a warrior. She notes that team building is a continuous process – it never ends.
Values as basis for development
A strong sense of responsibility for the future – not only companies and the families future, but also employees, their families and local communities – is the first step towards the longevity of family businesses – says Dr. Adrianna Lewandowska. And this is again why the Family Business Institute, together with partners: PwC, Millennium and Wprost weekly awarded one family business with the title: Family Business of the Year – the creator of business and social responsibility. The combination of business efficiency and care for the local community are the features looked for by the jury of eminent Polish professors, economists, business people and scientists. The winner of the competition was Raben Group, and the statuette received the owner of the company – Ewald Raben himself. Awards were also given in the category of micro, small, medium, large enterprises and for the project.