Building a Strategic View of the Family’s Future

Date: Oct 28 2020

Glen W. Johnson, Chief Operating Officer

One question facing families and family offices today is how to build a strategic long-term view of your family’s future. Scott Peppet, President at Chai Trust Company, says families and family systems tend to work on long-wave frequencies, and normal business works on a short-wave frequency, often monthly or quarterly.

Peppet says that often, certain family members light up and resonate more with these long-term questions. are more human questions, and they can connect to it. Other family members push back and want to focus on short term, financials, quarterly statements, etc.

To strike this balance, family office leaders must ask themselves, is some part of the family system consistently focused on the long-term, big-picture important questions? If the answer is yes, over time, this longer-term focus becomes more natural and people are more open to discussing the topics.

How do you help folks stay engaged over the long term? The answer is, develop a strong curriculum and learning development plan for all generations.

To get started, identify a champion for this work within your family, someone who is interested and engaged in looking at long-term strategy. And break things into smaller pieces, which feels more achievable.

To bring along younger generations, run parallel tracks where you’re giving them tangible items to get their arms around, while you’re doing this other important long-term work as well.

Also Peppet warns, don’t make assumptions that “long term” is actually the goal. Some families may have different goals, so you must ask the important questions, to all generations, and be open to alternate views.

Peppet gives us a few tips to bring these important longer-term conversations to light, and allow families to start thinking through the 25-50-75 year periods.

First, be a ridiculous optimist.

Secondly, give yourself permission to talk about it.

Third, it’s ok if you don’t have all the answers.

Peppet also asserts that we need all diversity of opinions at the table. Everyone has a role. And the more we talk about the big stuff, the better off we’ll all be.

Glen Johnson is Chief Operating Officer at Family Office Exchange (FOX). In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of the member experience, ensuring that each family member, family office executive, and trusted advisor has an unsurpassed experience partnering with FOX by providing unique industry knowledge and insights coupled with a safe and confidential environment where members can share best practices. In addition, Glen oversees the operations of FOX and is charged with establishing and executing systems to execute FOX’s strategic plan, promoting it’s vision and service-centric culture, and enabling the FOX team to work together to exceed our member’s expectations.

Areas of Expertise: Business Owners, Business Transition, Wealth Advisors

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