Multigenerational Family Strategy

Dr. John Davis, CFEG Founder and Chairman, reminds us that “Businesses come and go. But business families endure for generations.” This powerful statement guides our core belief at CFEG that the family is the unit of success; the source of value creation; the power and talent behind enduring enterprises, financial wealth, and social change. We believe that the family is the most powerful social organization in the world. It is society’s most important foundation for social order, economic development, and individual initiative.

Multigenerational families are focused on the sustainability of the family above all else, knowing that if the family is successful, the family enterprise will endure. To achieve this, they embrace a long-term mindset and develop an inspiring family strategy.

Sustainable, multigenerational families define themselves by their core values, standards, vision, mission, and goals. They unite around what they are building, why they are building it, and how they will treat others. They are committed to their unified purpose for another generation or more, which is often to create shareholder value, build financial wealth, have a social impact, build enterprises with top talent, and develop the next generation. A sustainable, multigenerational family prioritizes the enterprise’s needs above the needs of any one individual. The family is aligned with the owners, board, and management of their entities. The family serves in roles to fulfil its “highest and best use” in the enterprise, and retains decision-making control over issues of significance. These approaches require continuous leadership, structure, and resources—all at the heart of a family strategy.

CFEG works collaboratively with business families to define their family strategy. We help families to create and achieve the family’s and owners’ core values, vision, mission, and goals. We lead families through powerful and proven processes to clarify their vision of the future for the family, owners, family company, and financial wealth. We facilitate discussions and exercises to help business families articulate how the owners will support the business and other activities; how the family will remain organized and disciplined to achieve its objectives; and how to unlock the blockages that stand in the way. We help families identify where they add the most value to the family enterprise, and how to become worldclass at those activities–and then delegate to talented others everything else. We guide families to look to the future and plan for the next one or two generations, or more. These, and other important components, are the essential work of developing a family strategy that achieves alignment and sustainability of a multigenerational family.

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