Vision, Mission and Values

Published: Feb 21, 2022

You’ve determined you are a Family Enterprise. You see a need for a liquidity event down the road, or have gone through some form of liquidity event for your family enterprise. It sounds like you’ve decided what the liquidity will be used for.  Now you are at the point to share the vision with your family. Why is this important?

Having a very clear vision gives you a purpose for moving forward, especially in the hardship of working your continuity planning. A family mission statement encapsulates your idea of a good life and lays out your family’s purpose, goals and standards.  All members of the family have a hand in articulating these values and all agree to live them.  Coming together to articulate your family vision mission and values is a great journey for the family to embark on. The journey gives you a shared experience that, in itself, bonds the family closer together.  This is a true case where the journey is much more valuable than the destination itself.

Some families choose the journey that leads to a documented family constitution.  This document codifies the vision and dreams of the family. Building a constitution together gives the family a process to embark on together that encourages communication. The constitution becomes the moral agreement for all family members and is a great tool to forward if the family has a multigenerational intent.  The constitution defines how you agree to communicate with each other, it defines how you deal with differences and may outline conflict management tools.  It documents how you make decisions and is the structure for you family governance.

Coming together as a family to build on this creates a bond between family members. Your family’s sense of unity and purpose strengthens when every member knows that everyone is truly committed to each other’s success and growth.

Some questions to ask each other in creating your family’s vision are:

  1. What character qualities do we want to instill in our children?
  2. What are some practical applications and activities we can do as a family to help cultivate the vision?
  3. How do we plan on communicating the vision to our children?
  4. What are rules we can set up to guide the family vision?

As a family, when you’ve taken the time to open the conversation on your shared vision, mission and values you’ve brought yourself closer to making decision in consensus.  There are great advantages when you can come together as a family with consensus.  It builds unity, maintains unity and requites unity.  It also creates listeners and collaborators.

When you come together as a family aiming for consensus in your decision making, you achieve all the key attributes to good decision making in a family:

  • No surprises
  • Sincerely care
  • Mutual commitment
  • Good conduct

This leads to family unity and harmony within the family. Does your family have a compelling vision that encourages family unity and ensures long-term wealth creation?

Other questions to ask as you think about your long-term vision and what your legacy will be are:

  • What is your wish for the future?
  • What is your wish for the family?
  • What is your wish for the business?
  • How do you want to be remembered?
  • Will your legacy be one of closeness or distance?

“Your legacy is not what you leave others… It’s what you give, create and contribute today while you’re here that then happens to live on.” (R. Oganiura)

Keep these 10 points in mind if you want to avoid harming your legacy:

  1. Never ask for input when making decisions that impact your family
  2. Refuse to discuss the reason for the decisions you make
  3. Create competition for your favour between your children
  4. Label family members and encourage other family members to use those labels
  5. Only validate people who remind you of yourself
  6. Decide who you trust based on who agrees with you
  7. Don’t let others find meaning in things you don’t find interesting
  8. Refuse to lead, but make sure everyone knows you are in charge
  9. Don’t talk about personal relationships, feelings and definitely not failures
  10. Ignore your family’s interests while you are alive, but plan on radically impacting their lives after you are dead.

Take the opposite into account when creating your family vision, mission and values.

It may seem a tedious task and the journey may open up family dynamic and seem more an effort then you are prepared to endure.  I encourage you to stick to the process and the end result will last for generations.

Decision Tree Question: Have you shared this vision with the family (vision, mission, values)?

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