Familosophy - Jan 2020
A new year; a new name! Welcome to the Familosophy newsletter. Every month you'll discover deep insights, thought-provoking discussion points, and commentary on family, business, and what really matters to us.

Upcoming travel: New York (late Feb), Dubai (early Mar), Singapore (May). Please message me if you'd like to catch up!


Megxit / Fexit
The big news this past week is the announcement by Prince Harry and Meghan to step back as "senior" royals. The story is being described as the biggest rupture to the British royal family since the abdication in 1936, and the response from Buckingham Palace treats the matter as a work-in-progress. Is this "Megxit"?

What does this mean for a "typical" wealthy family? One of the key things wealth delivers is choice: family members have the opportunity to pursue their dreams with fewer financial constraints than most others.

In many wealthy families, children are brought up with a strong sense of obligation to continue the family legacy. That might mean joining the family business, or fulfilling other obligations on behalf of the family. But if not done well, this can be more burden than opportunity for younger family members.

If families are to truly honour the principle of choice, then family members should have a genuine choice to remain deeply connected to the family assets/business, or forge their own paths (or to strike a healthy balance between the two).

In the case of the British royals, one essential thing appears to be absent from this process: intergenerational communication!

Consider This: Is your family legacy a privilege or a lodestone around your neck (or both)? What choices does being wealthy given you and other family members? Which of those choices have you or other family members actually taken? Do members of your family have the option to "exit" the shared family wealth and take their own path? Have you ever had open discussions about this?
Original articles: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51040751 and plenty more every day as the story evolves!
Family Business Succession
"How to transition the family business to the next generation?" The answer depends on (a) who is asking (incumbent or rising generation) and (b) when (in the life-cycle of the business) they are asking. More often than not, the question is raised too late - when the incumbent generation is thinking of retirement, when there are already unstated expectations from both generations, and when there is already latent conflict.

The key ingredients to a successful family business transition are open communication between the generations working in the business and with other family stakeholders (current and future owners), a shared vision both for the future of the business and for the family itself, and a good governance structure.

Those things are the foundation required for succession. They come before identifying the right family member to occupy any particular management position.

Most families don't set the foundations first, but that doesn't mean all is lost. A process of vision alignment, improving communication and establishing strong governance can get things on track and reduce the risk of the latent conflict blowing up.

Consider This: Has your family business thought about succession? Have your imagined or visualised what succession looks like (for both the incumbent and rising generation)? Do both generations have a clear understanding of what will happen and when?
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