Family engagement, communication and education becomes more challenging as the size and complexity of the enterprise increases.
In our experience, families that rely on ad hoc conversations and brief business discussions attached to holiday gatherings are not able to effectively meet the challenges of oversight and continuity. Once the number of family stakeholders (shareholders and beyond) expands beyond a single nuclear family, there is a need for an annual gathering (a Family Assembly), and eventually a family forum or executive committee (a Family Council) to focus the essential governance work.
A well-functioning Family Assembly is an annual meeting, where relatives can update their information about each other and share views among branches, generations, and those who live far apart.
They are typically:
- Open to all family members, scheduled to maximize attendance, and including events for all age groups
- An opportunity for family leaders in the business and the foundation to make brief presentations
- An educational, recreational, or community service event that fits particularly with the family culture
LGA members have been helping business families design and implement Family Assemblies and Family Councils for 30 years. We advise on the planning of annual Assembly events, the choice of a model for representation in a Family Council, agenda setting, leadership selection and coaching, process facilitation for initial meetings, and communication expectations between the Council and family members.