New Practical Guide on Mental Models of Family Businesses

What are “Mental Models” and what impact do they have on everyday business life? This is the topic of the new practical guide of the Wittener Institut für Familienunternehmen (WIFU) “Mental models of family businesses. How entrepreneurial families think about themselves and their connection to the family business “.

Often it is a pending successor process that initiates appropriate considerations: which is actually our mental model? Four mental models are described in this paper and their typical challenges identified. In this way, the guide makes it understandable why dealing with these mental models is important and worthwhile for any entrepreneurial family. The WIFU has been observing and exploring the transformation of these self-images for many years. Based on this broad knowledge, the new Practical Guide gives concrete questions and impulses. It is important to note that none of the models is superior to the others, but rather the evolutionary history of a family of entrepreneurs is also reflected in these models. Mostly, a mental model has become established over time without ever being clearly named and tapped for its appropriateness.

The newly published practical guide aims to encourage entrepreneurial families to deal with their own patterns of thinking and self-image and – if necessary – to consciously shape change.

The Practical Guide “Mental Models of Family Businesses” is available in German only and can be downloaded in our library.