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Family Meeting Tools

Family Meeting Tools

The Values Edge 2.0


Newly Revised: The Values Edge 2.0 Toolkit

Defining and Acting  on Personal and Family Values

The Values Edge 2.0 is a tool kit that enables advisors and coaches how to assist individuals and families to create a Personal Values Pyramid and Family Values Statement. These session help increase purpose, engagement, resilience, and alignment within and across generations.

Used for 30 years, by thousands of families worldwide, to appreciate differences and find common ground. Extends the values driven leadership model of Dr. Dennis Jaffe and Dr. Cynthia Scott.

This newly revised toolkit features an updated model of 8 “values clusters”, responding to over 10 years of user feedback. The new model gives a clearer view of your approach to your social world, and your style of acting. By sharing personal values arranged in colorful pyramids, people in a family or a work team can easily experience their similarities and differences to find alignment on shared values.

Family Enterprise Assessment Tool (FEAT)

Developed by Dr. Jaffe and Caroline Bailey of Premier Growth, the Family Enterprise Assessment Tool is the first online navigational tool enabling multi-generational families in business together to discover the current state of their family enterprise, providing an opportunity for creating a framework for structured discussion to effectively make family and business decisions that are right for them.

Every family and business has strengths and areas for improvement. The Family Enterprise Assessment Tool enables your family to anonymously gather family/business stakeholders’ perceptions in an easy and safe environment to provide a snapshot in time. It then provides a detailed analysis of all the data so you can hold productive family and business conversations vital for shaping the future of the family and enterprise.

We have added a training program for facilitators, and an ongoing learning community, to support advisors who are using the tool with client families.

Talking it Through and Handbook for Conducting Effective Family Meetings

A family cannot delegate the task of building trust or sharing information about their wealth to advisors—they eventually must meet and discuss these issues face to face. Family members must talk about the future together if they are to cross generations without disruption or unproductive conflict. Talking it Through provides the framework for conducting effective family meetings about business and wealth.

The monograph Talking it Through, offered some basic tools and resources for setting up a family meeting. The Handbook for Conducting Effective Family Meetings offers more detail and concrete suggestions for setting up and conducting family meetings about money, wealth, and family business. It also contains many specific suggestions for activities that make a successful family meeting. Primarily for advisors, but families will find it useful when they are planning and designing meetings.


New Working Paper from Wise Counsel Research

Social Impact in Hundred-Year Family Businesses

This is the sixth in a series of publications sharing key insights on how Centennial families have preserved their wealth, impact and connection as a family across generations. Our team conducted over 100 interviews of both very public and highly private families who, as owners of large successful global family enterprises for more than three generations, have been “stewards of wealth.” We call these families “generative” because they continually add all forms of social, personal, and financial value. This paper looks at their philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and community investments as expressions of the families’ values and purposes and at how this commitment is transmitted across generations.

Resilience of 100-Year Family Enterprises

This is the 5th in a series of working papers reporting on our intensive interview study of long-term successful families around the world. No business remains the same after a 100-year journey. Every long-lasting family enterprise learns how to navigate developmental and business crises as it crosses generations. This paper presents the business journeys of the nearly 100 long-lasting families in our study. Their resilience stems from continual innovation and transformation. We look at their major transformations—harvesting, pruning, diversifying and grounding—and at how the family is able to build an adaptive, sustainable culture.

Governing the Family Enterprise

Upon reaching the third generation, business families face a set of new challenges. Internal and external forces threaten the family’s ability to continue as partners. But the potential for what they can do if they decide to continue is incredible. A family reaching this milestone faces a choice point — should we continue together as a financial or business entity, or just distribute what we have and let each household more forward in their own way? A few courageous families make a conscious decision to continue united. By sharing the experience of families who have successfully crashed through this barrier, we offer a roadmap of the hard work and expansive outcomes that result.

Releasing the Potential of the Rising Generations

The secret to building great family enterprises is the ability to foster rising generations who are well prepared and eager to meet the enterprises yet-to-come challenges. Based on interviews with more than 70 enterprising families, Releasing the Potential of the Rising Generations shares unique experience based insights into successful transitions of family enterprises over at least three generations. These “100 Year Families,” over the centuries, have created and sustained enterprises that generate over US$200 MM in annual revenues.

Good Fortune: Building a Hundred Year Enterprise

Through 18 case studies we illustrate how each of the 38 families organized its family and business or financial affairs, thus parting the curtain on very public and highly private families. While we have protected our respondents’ confidentiality, their stories shed light on their internal values, organization and activities, and how they overcame often-significant crises and conflicts.

Three Pathways to Evolutionary Survival

Just as we benchmark financial and organizational performance, so family business owners want to benchmark best practices of governance and family interaction that help sustain their family enterprises over generations. This study defines and compares the best practices used by 192 of the largest and most successful global families to preserve their wealth and connection as a family across several generations.


Finding Her Voice and Creating a Legacy – Portraits of Pioneering Women

Interviews with first and later generation matriarchs who unexpectedly become family leaders, with stories of their roles, how they came about and their impact on the family. Who are Today’s Women of Wealth? It’s a question that’s increasingly asked, but difficult to answer without defaulting to external demographics and vague statements of qualities. These women control a large percentage of the world’s wealth; oversee a significant portion of today’s philanthropic programs and perspectives; and play an increasing role in shaping the philosophies and priorities of future generations. Today, they are becoming increasingly visible leaders, taking their families along new paths, and emphasizing different priorities.

Borrowed From Your Grandchildren: The Evolution of 100-Year Family Enterprises

Family enterprises form the majority of businesses large and small in every country in the world. At the same time, few are able to sustain themselves with the same level of wealth and success even into their second generation and sustaining shared family wealth after the third generation is nearly improbable. Borrowed From Your Grandchildren presents the findings of a multiyear project in which researchers interviewed more than 100 families around the globe to understand the evolution of family enterprises that have succeeded for 100 years or more. I share stories of long-lasting families that point to elements of families’ experiences and learnings that allowed them to survive for the long term.

I have prepared a short guide to the key elements of the book, that includes action items for a family wanting to look ahead toward a century of success: 8 Insights from Long-Lasting Global Enterprising Families.

Cross Cultures: How Global Families Negotiate Change Across Generations

Prosperous families around the globe face unexpected challenges in the modern world. As they expand outward to other countries, elder generations naturally want to uphold the cultural heritage that led to their original success. Cross Cultures discusses a deepening of the understanding of family wealth and family enterprises citing theories coming out of cross-cultural psychology and negotiation strategies. Furthering these ideas, the book explains how three main culture types around the world, Individualist, Collective Harmony, and Honor cultures, differ from each other along important dimensions of communication, family orientation, trust building, authority, leadership, and decision-making.

Stewardship in Your Family Enterprise

After a family has created wealth in a successful family business, they naturally want to see the wealth create success and fulfillment in the next generation, and the continuation of some form of shared family enterprise. But family relationships do not easily make for good business or financial partnerships, and the family must work hard to succeed over generations.

Working With the Ones You Love

Acclaimed guide for families about the challenges of working together—how to deal with conflict, succession, work roles, planning for the future and other predictable aspects of combining work and family. Includes many self-assessment tools and family activities to promote effective work and family relationships.

Working With Family Businesses

A handbook for family business advisors—lawyers, accountants, financial planners and business consultants—to help their clients manage the complexity of family business. How to be an effective process consultant to families in business, with many tools and useful techniques.

Co-Authors: David Bork, Leslie Dashew, Sam Lane and George Heisler