A successful entrepreneurial couple on a long-overdue vacation was reflecting on the future of their enterprise. Together, they led a portfolio of operating companies, an investment portfolio, and a donor-advised fund. They also had three healthy adult children, the eldest of whom was about to get married.
Talk of succession was at least a decade out, but as a general rule, they liked to be prepared. They asked around for help thinking about how to discuss shared wealth and purpose as a family in anticipation of welcoming their eldest son into the business. They were also in the process of updating their estate plans and wanted to make sure all of these activities were synchronized.
A close friend referred them to LGA and shared the book Succeeding Generations, which they read together while on vacation. The next week they reached out to LGA to explore how we could help them think through these important issues. They were promptly introduced to an Advisor who got to know them personally and confidentially, asking questions about their situation and exploring whether and how our team could help.
Together they discussed both their aspirations for the future as well as their concerns — the first time they ever spoke about these topics directly with their kids. They learned about our signature diagnostic, the Continuity Audit, as well as the various educational opportunities for the whole family as they contemplated when and how to begin a decades-long journey toward family enterprise continuity.
The couple was both excited and nervous about opening up what felt like Pandora’s Box. They were also curious about how their children would react — each in their own way. Before diving into a full Continuity Audit, their LGA advisor suggested that the family get started with some foundational education about continuity planning for themselves, their kids, and their leadership teams.
They began this journey with a Continuity Workshop, both to expose the family to some of the key issues that are generic to “Controlling Owners” and to provide them with a new vocabulary to start having conversations about the future. It also provided an opportunity for the family and the Advisor to build some chemistry. Continuity planning is a journey and not an event, so all parties need to choose their travel companions wisely.
The family emerged from the Workshop with a greater appreciation for the challenges and opportunities of continuity planning and a roadmap for engaging in a structured exploration of the future. They also developed a trusted relationship with their advisor and LGA who they knew would be available to support their family and their enterprise, as needed, for decades to come.