Design the governance you need to sustain the continuity of your family enterprise
Once your business or your family reaches a certain size, complexity is inevitable. Most families have at least some basic governance in place to help organize their owners and manage their interface with the enterprise. Yet, these structures, processes, and policies on their own don’t guarantee continuity.
For starters, they are rarely well-coordinated — often created by different sets of advisors trying to solve unrelated issues that emerge independently over time. Additionally, family members and external professionals that populate the governance system may not have the skills, experience, or time to carry out their responsibilities effectively. Perhaps most importantly, governance systems cannot be static — they need to evolve over time in response to shifting internal and external conditions.
As a result, any initial momentum and value that families feel when they first create these structures can be difficult to sustain.
LGA’s research and experience advising families over decades confirms our fundamental belief that the problems associated with ineffective governance often result from simple misunderstandings or uncoordinated planning.
Our global team of advisors helps families clarify their governance needs through a comprehensive Governance Assessment. Driven by data and our deep expertise, we are able to make strategic recommendations about the structures, processes, and policies necessary to sustain the unity and commitment of your family and the success of your enterprise.
How does it work?
The LGA Governance Assessment begins by gathering data on your existing governance structures, processes, and policies. This includes all legal and moral agreements, charters, and protocols, and any past assessments of senior leaders and teams.
We interview key participants in the governance system and any architects of the initial design. In larger families, we often conduct surveys and facilitate small group conversations to understand broader perspectives on the current governance — what’s working, what’s confusing, and what could be improved.
Based on this data and leveraging our experience, we help you define a strategic governance architecture that reflects the unique culture of your family and your enterprise. This includes:
- upgrading existing structures
- helping to launch new structures
- defining key roles and profiles throughout the system
- endorsing current members and recruiting new members as needed
- clarifying processes and policies to ensure the entire governance system will operate effectively in the present, and
- building in processes and policies to help it adapt to change in the future
How does your family benefit?
You will emerge from a Governance Assessment with a refreshed governance design and an action plan for deploying it. Your family will have a better understanding of the role good governance plays in supporting continuity and of the opportunities and requirements for them to engage.
Your executives and advisors will emerge with confidence that the family is well-organized and deeply committed to the long-term success of the enterprise.
Case Study: Sustaining Engagement in a Cousins Consortium
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.
Stewarding businesses into institutions
In light of the many crises that haunt the daily news cycle, there is one segment of the corporate landscape that seems to be weathering the storm better than most: family businesses.
What is a family owners council and why does it matter?
Dr Katherine Grady and Dr Wendy Ulaszek discuss Family Owners Councils and their importance supporting family business continuity.
The best investment a family will ever make
The creation of a Family Council is one way to restore balance between business and family life.
What is the point of family enterprise governance?
Business, ownership and family issues are intertwined in a way that is going to get very complicated.
Tradition and adaptation in Chinese family enterprises: Facing the challenge of continuity
There are three specific critical challenges that Chinese family enterprises will have to meet and resolve.
Resilience in Family Enterprises
Studying the response of family enterprise systems to chronic market dysfunction and elevated risk can provide useful insights into organizational resilience.
Neus has 20 years of expertise in corporate and family business governance specializing in large Latin American and European.
Ashley works with philanthropic families to help them define a shared vision for their family’s philanthropy, and the structures and operations to realize that vision.
Ivan is a Founding Partner and consults with complex family businesses in the USA, Canada, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Katherine has advised families for over 25 years, focusing on continuity planning, governance design, leadership development, executive coaching, and team building.
Gustavo is a partner who advises family enterprises throughout Latin America on complex corporate governance matters.
Francisco specializes in research and consulting for complex family enterprises. His duties included doing economic analysis and family business education.