Business families are often encouraged to have, Family Meetings, Today we’re gonna talk about 5 Things you should think about when planning them.
I’m talking about occasional get-togethers with many family members, some of them involved in business matters, and others who aren’t.
1. Involve Many People
The more people involved in planning the meeting, the better.
Ideas should be solicited from the participants beforehand,
and it should never appear to be a one-person show.
2. Not Just Business
Please resist the temptation to make it all business
If you want people to look forward to these events and attend them regularly, then plan on including
a mix of business, fun, education, downtime, physical activity, and just plain socializing on the schedule.
3. Regular, Repeating Forum
Some families try to have THE family meeting, once, to finally share a bunch of information that they’ve been keeping private for a long time.
That rarely works well.
Instead, having regular meetings, on a repeating basis is almost always a better idea.
The idea is to have a forum, or an exchange of views that brings out interaction and learning, with an agenda that evolves over time.
4. Past History and Future Outlook
Family businesses considering this type of meeting
have usually been around for a few decades.
So, sharing stories and facts about the history of the business, 10 and 20 and 30 years ago can help give everyone a better appreciation of what came before, including major successes and failures.
While you’re at it, look 10 or 20 years ahead, and ask family members how they see the business, AND their potential future involvement
5. Process is More Important than Content
A family meeting is a chance to teach and share a number of important pieces of information with those members of the family who are less aware than others, to help level the playing field, and make everyone feel involved.
But avoid the temptation for too much content.
Regular meetings, to share information and also have fun, is a better way to think of it.
The PROCESS is what you need to get right;
the actual CONTENT is secondary.
You really want to make sure that there will be a NEXT MEETING, and you can make that one even better
That’s all for now, see you next time.