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FUTURE PLANNING


“A project that often works well is to ask your child to research and put together a history of the business and then have it professionally printed”


monitor the outcomes. As a condition of the gift, he requires them to report back in 12 months time. Here he is teaching them goal setting, budgeting, how to seek advice, planning, implementing plans and monitoring success. Importantly, he also requires accountability. If you have a family business, a project that often works


well is to ask your child to research and put together a history of the business and then have it professionally printed. Researching where it started, how much was borrowed, the downtimes and the risks taken, will give the child an understanding of where the wealth came from. It will also give them a greater appreciation of what had to be done to get the family where they are today. Within the business there may also be some cost


management projects they can get involved in to give them a more strategic view of running a company.


Skills for life Usually, the children will need help from parents, members of the family and employees to achieve these projects. Learning to compromise, building trust and working in teams are great values for them to learn. It is equally important to develop their financial skills too. The goal is to give them the knowledge to manage their wealth, rather than hand them the assets. Just as the parent used his or her entrepreneurial skills, so the child might also be given the opportunity to develop a business or grow an existing business. There are lots of ways they can learn these skills. They


the child sees parents who work hard, do not talk about the problems and successes of the business, the child may be left with the impression that the building of wealth is the value of greatest importance. When they receive everything they ask for, they have the impression that it will always be there. Parents can set their own goals as to the values they


wish for their families, and then work towards those behaviours which result in a culture around those desired values. It is better to start early in this endeavour. When the goals are not set or the plan did not achieve the desired goal, then the changing of values and the culture is more difficult and requires more time. One way to bring about change of culture or mindsets


is to set projects for children that develop their financial values and shift them into a mindset of stewardship. One entrepreneur I know has a one-on-one meeting over a lunch with each of his grandchildren shortly after their eighteenth birthday. He tells them that he intends to give them a sum of money, then asks them to set some goals for the investment of that sum, how they might go about investing that sum, what advice they might obtain, how they will


could join an investment club or go on the ASX website and practice share trading so they understand what drives the share price on various companies. You could also get your children involved in community


projects. If you’re running a fundraising event, take them along and get them to help out. Even get them to do a budget for the event and learn how you have to spend money in order to get money. It helps when parents give children encouragement with


these projects as well as a certain amount of freedom to get on with the job. Even if they go down a track with which you do not totally agree, or is costly; making mistakes can offer the best learning experiences. Seeing a young person develop these values and life


skills, and really start to understand the place of wealth in their lives, is so rewarding.


Paul Lucas practices in the area of family business advising and assists in the transition of management and ownership from one generation to the next. He may be contacted at: Coleman Greig Lawyers Level 9, 100 George Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150 Australia Ph. +61 2) 9635 6422 plucas@colemangreig.com.au


FAMILY OFFICE: ASIA TOMORROW 85


OPERATIONS


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