How, When and Why the Benetton Family Became Edizione LtdA STUDY BY ANDREA COLLI, HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCES, ON ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ITALIAN ENTREPRENEURIAL FAMILIES
A study by Andrea Colli, Head of the Department of Social and Political Sciences, on one of the most important Italian entrepreneurial families
Understanding an organization does not end with analyzing its current state. It is necessary to study its evolution over time. History, Andrea Colli says, can help us to better understand the present, not to predict the future. “History is not a series of events that happened in the past. It is not the answer to the question of ‘what happened’. It is a tool that retrace events and relationships to help us understand present-day phenomena, their strength, their weakness”.
For example, managers and entrepreneurs are not necessarily aware of the road they have traveled. Writing a firm history is a way to show them the route they took. “History is this act of looking back”. This is the logic that Andrea Colli, Head of the Department of Social and Political Sciences, has applied when studying the case of Edizione Ldt, the holding company established in 1981 to diversify the Benetton family’s investments. Today, Edizione operates in many areas, from transport infrastructure to food and beverage. Its concessions contracts in the public sector yield steady returns and investments.
It did not happen in a day, nor the success of the holding company is the result of planning. It happened at the end of a long process of learning and adaptation. Resources and knowledge have been accumulated over time. “History teaches us that the Benetton family have learned to create a management team separate from the ownership. They have appointed high-level managers to key positions and curbed the temptation to meddle in decision-making”.
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