Dennis T Jaffe, PhD has, for the past 40 years, been one of the leading architects of the field of family enterprise consulting. As both an organisational consultant and clinical psychologist, he helps global multi-generational families develop governance practices that build leadership in succeeding generations and ensure financial stability.
His work with families helps inform his training of financial advisers and wealth managers about the knowledge and skills needed to serve their client families. He is an acclaimed speaker and workshop leader in programs for business families and financial service firms.
He has written several books that guide business families in working together to build thriving enterprises.
The Firm? We learned from Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey that is what the royal family call their family business. It’s a very appropriate term. As a family business, they own and manage land and castles, some of which they rent out, support multiple charitable ventures, play an extensive public role in the UK drawing on multiple publicity avenues to support its image and brand, and employ scores of employees who are valued for their loyalty and commitment. It's a huge and complex business.
Writing the constitution begins with the existing legal documents. They are read and explained so that they are clear to the family. This is more difficult than it seems, and often there are several drafts before the meaning and mechanics of each agreement is understood, consistent, and clear.
Passing the baton of leadership to the next generation is often fraught with problems. Dennis Jaffe outlines the hurdles faced by two sets of siblings and describes how they achieved harmony in their relationships, as well as ensuring success for their businesses
Establishing crystal clear boundaries between worker, family member, parent and sibling will not only open a path towards professional decision-making, it can eliminate a great deal of hardship down the line, says Dennis Jaffe
The Pritzker family dispute illustrates how important it is for all members of a family business to feel respected and valued irrespective of their roles within the family. Had clear family policies been established – and discussed – at the point of succession, perhaps this bitter legal battle could have been avoided
A family may fear that their children will use up their inheritance. The best insurance that the money is used wisely is to take steps to make sure that each heir develops passion, values and responsibility so they can lead a fulfilled adulthood and continue the wealth into future generations
Family feuds can fester for generations and the conflict may have a disastrously destructive effect on the family and the prospects for its business. Communication and respect are the keys to avoiding damaging family conflicts
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