Family businesses usually involve a broad range of family members including owners, managers and employees. Meetings of management, of a Board of Directors, and of Shareholders can bring these principals together.
But beyond those directly involved, there are also their grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren, significant others, and more. The latter may have no formal role in the business, but they often feel a great need for information and involvement. A Family Council can meet this need — strengthening the family and the business. A Council is virtually indispensable when the business has grown through several generations and large numbers of siblings, cousins, and their children have economic and emotional stakes in the enterprise.
A Family Council, or less formal Family Meetings, can provide a vehicle for all branches and generations of the family to pull together — rather than pulling apart. Among the contributions of many Councils are:
- Articulating family values, vision, and mission.
- Organizing periodic family meetings regarding the family firm, trusts, and other family business issues.
- Fostering the development of rising generations.
- Creating policies for the participation of family members in the business.
- Establishing a family office to manage shared investments and assets.
- Guiding family philanthropy.
- Organizing family retreats, leisure activities, and celebrations of the family legacy.
- Enhancing communications within and among all generations of the family.
Creating and maintaining an effective Family Council (or even a series of less formal meetings) requires planning, collaboration, and follow-through. It also requires careful consideration of the relationship between the Council and business management, directors, and shareholders. BMC helps families design a “constitution” for their Council that meets their particular needs — and can help facilitate the implementation and ongoing operations of that Council.
Contact BMC today to learn more about how we can help.