Family Council Development
Your family governance deserves a dedicated leadership team
When a family is just getting started in business, it is quite common to rely on casual conversations and brief business discussions around the kitchen table or during holiday gatherings to keep the family connected and engaged. However, once the family expands beyond Mom, Dad, and the children, families often struggle to share information effectively, coordinate around decision-making, and manage the critical interface between the family and the enterprise.
At this point, many families who are committed to continuity consider hosting an annual gathering (a.k.a. family assembly) and launching an executive committee (a.k.a. family council) to lead the essential work of family governance. That said, there’s more to creating an effective family council than gathering a few family members in a room and asking them to plan a holiday dinner.
At its best, a family council is a working group that serves at the discretion of the family as a whole, managing activities that provide engagement and education and support effective communication. This group of family leaders often gathers input and articulates the family’s core values, purpose, and vision. It also develops policies around employment, conflicts of interest, and codes of conduct, and serves as an executive committee of the family assembly, strategically designing and delivering these important annual gatherings.
LGA’s advisors help you design a family council that meets your unique developmental needs. Our guidance is based on years of helping enterprising families around the globe determine the optimal size, membership, election procedures, strategic agendas, and leadership selection and coaching for their family council — whether it’s just being launched or has been up and running for decades.
How does it work?
In order to ensure that your family gets the most out of its family council, LGA’s advisors often facilitate:
- Educational sessions on the critical role of the family council in supporting family enterprise governance
- Development of a steering committee or task force to review how a family council could add value within the unique context of your family enterprise
- Discussions about your family’s core values, culture, and vision and how that should inform the design of the family council
- Design of key processes and policies to support the work of the family council
- Strategic planning around family events and celebrations and how they can be used to nurture family connection and engagement
- Creation of a family constitution or handbook to clarify your family enterprise’s unique heritage, common goals, and governance system
- Initiation of a family legacy, biography, or history project to celebrate the past while preparing for the future
How does your family benefit?
Sustaining the unity and commitment of your family to the enterprise takes a lot of work. In our experience, a family council is often the best vehicle for coordinating these efforts. Give your growing family the wise and caring leadership it deserves.
Three third-generation Family Directors of a large enterprising family were attending a global conference focused on innovation and growth. Their 90-year old family had deep pride and gratitude for the success and leadership of previous generations. However, there were no family members currently working actively in the business, and the family’s only connection to their vast operations — which spanned eight industries and three continents — was limited to these three members of the Board.
Sharon Duguid and Wendy Ulaszek discuss the benefits, techniques and challenges of coaching family businesses.
Devin Deciantis and Nicolas Hollanders discuss the importance of engaging the next generation.
Ivan Lansberg and Devin DeCiantis discuss education in the context of continuity with a guest speaker.
Dr Katherine Grady and Dr Wendy Ulaszek discuss Family Owners Councils and their importance supporting family business continuity.
We conceptualize two interrelated approaches to education: a deductive or “outside-in” approach.
The creation of a Family Council is one way to restore balance between business and family life.
Maria has over 20 years of finance and governance experience within family businesses and actively serves on several Boards.
Christopher has over a decade of professional experience working at the intersection of education and practice.
Neus has 20 years of expertise in corporate and family business governance specializing in large Latin American and European.
Wendy is a partner that has over 15 years of consulting and counseling experience in individual, group, and organizational assessment and leadership development.
Jeff is a seasoned consultant known for his inventive approach to meeting business challenges and opportunities with a bold strategy.
Catalina works with partners and senior associates of the firm supporting client families to ensure the continuity of the family businesses.