Raising children in an affluent society - What do you do about that? What should you do about that? How are values based? What does it mean?
You start the education process at a young age with your family core vision, and core values, and core morals so that everybody understands what’s expected of them.
Being aware of that, and being cognisant of it I think are real questions to understand and pay attention to.
Use diagnostic tools to determine what your risks are, to assess them, and look at possible solutions.
And staying on top of that, and being educated about it, and looking what’s coming around the corner next, and figuring out who are the new experts. I mean, five years ago would we have said “Maybe we should have a social media expert?” I don’t think so. Who knows what’s ahead of us either?
You have Family Council Meetings.
And everybody is sitting around the table looking at everybody else.
We would have a series of customized to the family discussion topics,
philanthropy in this family, are there certain things that we believe in? Are there things we don’t believe in? Are there certain things we want to band together and put money in? ? I’ve got a family now who just started a Foundation, and their goal is to cure homelessness. And, before the father died, they had a significant fortune that was made through the restaurant business, so it dovetails with the father’s mission, they are taking every single family member, including 4 year-old grandchildren, to this huge food bank to understand what it means to collect food, raise money, and distribute it among people who have no money. And, starting that when you’re 5, and getting that inculcated into your system, and that your mission is not only to the family and the family business, but a connection to the world at large, starts through an educational program about philanthropy.
And so, the more that you can educate in a formal way, and the more that you can improve the communication among family members, the better that the reputation risk, and all of it, everybody will then feel included in a positive way. Some psychology class I took a long time ago said: “If you can’t matter in a positive way, you’re going to matter in a negative way, because you still want to matter.” So the more that you can go ahead and bring everybody together, and have them matter in a positive way, in a coordinated way, through education, the less likely you’re going to have that outcast creating trouble for the family brand, the family name, the family business downstream.