Families that Play Together, Stay Together

Family PlayThe time to start planning for succession is not on the way home from the funeral.

According to a recent article in Forbes, early planning bodes well for succession of family businesses. As the article points out, it’s more than gifting or selling equity to the next generation. It’s about helping the next gen understand the history of the family and business and the values and business basics that made its success possible. And, perhaps, the most important factors, which we can anecdotally confirm from our work with client after client after client, are effective communication and family alignment.

We also find that family members who share activities together beyond the business tend to be more comfortable with one another in a business setting when it’s time to have the difficult conversations. For some it’s going to a ball game, a round of golf, or fishing, or hunting, or board games. For others it may be working together in a not for profit or other community setting. We find that positive non business experiences help set the stage for openness, respect and ease of communication. Indeed, families that play together, stay together.

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