Where do I begin?

OK, families. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve done a good thing. You’ve realized there is a need to get started, or perhaps continue with your families development plan. But whether you’ve worked on these things sporadically in the past, or you’re completely new to the idea of family learning and engagement, one thing is probably certain. You’re likely unsure where you fit in all of this. What skills does your family need to know? What level or learning is “enough,” (as if any level of learning is EVER enough). And most importantly, once I know the answers to those questions, where do you begin?

Luckily for you, I’m developing a tool that can help answer the first of those three questions. It’s a self-assessment, designed to let your family members know where they fit on the scale from Apprentice (beginner) to Reflective (expert), across 5 of the major categories we consultants have identified as important. Family Business (if you have one), Family Ownership, Governance, Family, and Philanthropy. And the good news? Even if all of the rising gen identify as apprentices across all five categories, that’s OK! Not everyone needs to reach the Reflective level. Though personally, I’d recommend that as many as possible, if not all family members, reach the second level of “emerging.”

So, where do you begin? First, figure out what’s most important to the family enterprise. Is there an event where a family member CEO is going to step down in 3-5yrs? Maybe family business is the place to start. Are you a well known giving family, and want to hear the voices of the next gen? Start with Philanthropy. And while you’re at it, constantly add in Family values and history. Once you’ve figured out what is most important, develop a plan of action that is age appropriate, teaches skills in an appropriate amount of time (this will vary from family to family, but note that the early you start, the more time you have!), and most importantly FUN. And if that all sounds daunting, give me a call, or shoot me an email. That’s what I’m here for, after all.

Oh, and I promise you, my reader, will be the first to know when the self-assessment tool is up and running!