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FUTURE PLANNING


a cross-generational partnership where power and control must slowly move from elder to younger. This may not be easy as the elders are loath to surrender control and recognize the legitimacy of the emerging youth, who may have different concerns or values. None of this happens in a public company or


investment fund. The roles and control are clear and personal relationships are irrelevant, so they do not need a personal dimension of governance. But a family enterprise does. The domain of family governance has to do with


how the family comes together to welcome, listen to and offer meaningful roles to the next generation. The family, who may live in different places and have very different values and agendas, now must find common ground. If they can bond around their values and legacy, they can find ways to manage their shared assets to create a greater whole than they could individually. If not, they will be mired in conflict and legal wrangling.


Family councils Successful families therefore create family councils, family assemblies and family agreements, renewed each generation, that deal with these issues. They can be quite elaborate, as I have seen in my work and in attending some of the conferences on this issue where families share their stories and how they developed meaningful family governance. By learning from the models of these families, each family that wants to jump the generational boundary and stand a chance of remaining together as a single complex system must learn from them.


Dennis Jaffe is professor of organizational systems and psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco, and an adviser to families about family business, governance, wealth and philanthropy. He is author of several books, including Stewardship in your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Family Leadership Across Generations, as well as various management books and more than 100 management and psychology articles. This article is based on some of his recent articles, available at dennisjaffe.com.


FAMILY OFFICE: ASIA TOMORROW 83


OPERATIONS


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