Friday, April 24, 2009

Family Meetings

An excellent family business planning conference recently emphasized the value of trust through open communication as a key driver of success.

The patriarch and CEO of a very successful family business laid out the company strategy for strategic planning that consists of mandatory bi-annual family planning meetings at which all family members who have a stake in the company attend, spouses and children included.

The meetings are scheduled well in advance, detailed agendas are prepared with action items listed for specific attention.

What struck me was the value gained not only in helping set the strategic direction and achieve the buy-in necessary to grow the business, but also how it solidified relationships within the family.  It raised issues in my own mind with respect to open communication within my own family, the most important unit of organization in my life.   How often do we meet as a family to discuss our own strategic family plan?

Do we have our own family mission statement that speaks to who we are as a family unit and how that unit will organize itself to support the dreams and aspirations of individual members? 
Life is only getting more complex as the children get older, careers change and circumstances evolve in life.  The strength of the family is the foundation upon which such challenges are met. 

Now my oldest child has a driver's license.  A new level of responsibility for her.  A higher dimension of trust for the family.  A perfect opportunity to re-open those lines of communication to solidify the glue that binds the most important relationships in life.

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