Connecting Across Generations
The first step is to bring the family together to design their future with a meeting of the older and younger generations. Sounds simple, but actually this is a huge and sometimes difficult endeavor, entering new territory for the family. Some family members will be ready and familiar with family meetings, while others will be concerned or skeptical. I engage the family to set up and hold productive family gatherings.
This overview and family discussion draws on 30 years of practice and ongoing research about the experiences of long-lasting global families. It helps a family understand basic governance practices and what is possible for a successful family enterprise. This workshop gathers family members, maybe for the first time, to consider:
- What is the purpose of our family wealth?
- What are the most successful families doing together?
- What are our legacy values and future goals?
- How will we sustain and grow our family enterprises in the next generation?
Talking about the future is difficult because of the shadow of past events and family relationships. When a family meets to discuss their family enterprise, an experienced outside facilitator can help the family prepare an agenda, carry it out, and follow up their decisions. The gathering may include a handful to dozens of family members. Helping them communicate, stick to their agenda and resolve difficult issues is a much needed skill. I help families develop an agenda, ground rules and a Code of Conduct, to prepare and work together creatively, in order to end up with an Action Plan.
Family Dialogue about
It is hard to talk openly about family wealth. Conflict can build up when family members find it easier to avoid than to talk about differences. An outside mediator can help each family member find a voice to express concerns and work together to find resolution. I help families set up productive conversations where they feel comfortable and safe, are able to discuss their concerns and differences responsibility, and move toward resolution.