It is very important for business families to have values that can help them shape their future directions. In the process of discovering what these values are and organizing them, there are a few tensions that are important to keep in mind. The first is that, in the process of identifying values there is a tension between the individual and the collective. The individuals need to be able to see their place within the collective values the family puts together. Creating values in such a way that allows for individual differences, that gets the common harmony and consensus around agreed upon values but still recognizes that there is an individual need for differences in terms of values. The second is this tension between specific and abstract, and by that I mean, I think there can be a tendency to want to identify very specific values, sometimes tied directly to the industry; we are a steel family or we are a family in a particular industry and that dictates our values in a certain way. The reality is, the nature of the family business and industries need to adapt to change over time and there could be a danger in them being too specific. So, abstracting away to allow space for more harmony and consensus and more flexibility over time, is important. Of course, the downside or gander would be, abstracting away the meaning. So, the tension is, being able to identify values that are still meaningful and actionable but not too specific to constrain you. The third is a tension between the past and the future. Of course, values are derived from our past, from our family history and our legacy, and that is a good thing. At the same time, I think too often they can be treated as something that is imposed on the next generation, we pass down our values to the next generation. To some extent that is true, they are derived from our history, but they are also connected to our future. Because of that, the next generation needs to be able to see a place for themselves, that fits into these values, that it’s not just a one-way street but a conversation. So, recognizing that values and vision together, collectively co-created, gives space and voice to the next generation to meaningfully identify with the business family and the values that are common to them. Another critical activity for defining values and vision, is learning. Recognizing that values are not necessarily always readily apparent, especially shared values as a family. If they are collectively defined, part of the process is to discover what they are together. And it takes joint learning activities in order to be able to do that. In the process of learning together as a family, you might discover new points of commonality, new and different interests that unite you. Those are processes that can allow you to strengthen the bonds, the shared agreement and consensus around what those core values really are and how they might lead you into the future.