The majority of families create a governance structure by starting at the top of the pyramid without first building solid foundations. They often begin by creating various family structures and committees. This might involve the creation of a Family Office, a Family Charter or a Family Wealth Mission.
Unfortunately, this approach often produces conflict, upset and discord – the opposite of what the families were intending.
Our approach is for a family to begin by prioritising the “People” aspect of the family; improving the quality of communication, deepening the levels of trust, aligning around a shared vision and establishing a leadership structure which everyone agrees upon.
Once this foundation is in place, once conflicts have been resolved and the family find a common cause across all generations, then they are able to focus effectively on “Philosophy”, create a set of values and a goal which unites the family through a sense of affinity rather than simply relatedness.
On top of these strong foundations, a family will then naturally agree upon a range of “Procedures”, comprising policies and rules for the operational conduct of family members. The final part of the Family Transition Pyramid, “Process” puts a range of effective structures in place to enable the family to formally organise themselves. These Processes, however, can only bring long-term success – and can only be meaningful – once the family has effectively built the supporting elements of the pyramid in terms of People, Philosophy and Procedure.