Junior generation family members sometimes tell us that they believe no decision-making authority will come to them before senior generation family members either exit the business or die. And in some cases, they’re right. That is somewhat discouraging, and also a deterrent for next generation engagement.
We have found that decisions are difficult for the next generation to manage when their “transition” goes from making no decisions to making all decisions.
Why not provide the next generation with opportunities to make decisions (either related to the business or the family) before you make your exit? You might not want to start with key strategic decisions, or life-altering decisions on behalf of the family, but there are many options. Here are some examples:
- Planning the next family meeting (location, social time, draft agenda);
- Making a hiring decision without your stamp of approval;
- Designing a family website or newsletter;
- Selecting his own mentor in the business;
- Choosing recipients of philanthropic donations;
- Setting up a pilot project for a new product or service;
- Identifying development workshops/conferences that are most appropriate for her generation;
- Make some investment decisions with other members of the junior generation with a fixed sum of money;
There are many opportunities to build confidence and establish credibility among the next generation through increased decision-making. What decisions can you identify in your family that might engage them, while developing decision-making competence?