The country is opening up and so are we!
Businesses are beginning to re-group – figuring out which aspects of the past year are worth hanging on to and which tactics need to be discarded as we grapple with the myriad of changes in the world of work. Families are once again considering their succession strategies and wondering if now might be a good time to solidify their plans, or make changes to the vision that has been forever changed due to Covid.
As family business advisors, our opportunities are abundant. There has rarely been a time in my professional career when my services and experience were in higher demand.
As we brush off the dust of the past year, straighten up and oil the squeaky joints of our body of knowledge, our clients are clamoring for answers to a lot of tough questions:
- How will the change in leadership impact my estate plan?
- Should we pass the business on now, while it has yet to recover from the impact of Covid, or wait until we are in a stronger position?
- We lost members of our “wisdom generation” and with them, a sense of stability and history. How can we strengthen our foundation and ensure our viability?
- How can we transition from our virtual work world back to an active and engaged office environment when our employees don’t want to return to the old way of working?
- We need to rebuild our teams and our organizational culture – where do we start?
- The pandemic made us realize how vulnerable we are – so how can we do a better job of planning for and mitigating risk?
And, on and on. These questions and many more offer our advisors wonderful opportunities to provide important and necessary services.
However, with opportunity also comes a significant challenge – the need to think in a new way. Our collective consciousness has been forever altered by the past 18 months. Many among us no longer feel safe. Some have lost loved ones, some have seen families and life-long friendships torn apart by a seemingly bottomless political divide, and still others have thrived while struggling with survivor guilt. Our challenges include the need to:
- Understand the causes of conflict and inter-family strife and seek understanding, and hopefully common ground. So, we may need to improve our conflict management skills.
- Understand the potential changes in the tax and estate laws and how these may impact families and their businesses. So, we may need to update our knowledge of tax and financial planning.
- Understand effective ways to manage and mitigate risks – for families, individuals and businesses. So, we may need to update our education surrounding desk plans, risk analysis and risk planning – including cyber-security.
- Understand the change in family dynamics caused by illness or death and how to help families to heal and process. So, we may need to enhance our knowledge of family dynamics and grieving.
- Understand the generational differences in the approach to virtual workplaces and return to office practices. So, we may need to learn more about how the pandemic and the associated work practices impacted the various generations and how this can be incorporated into new organizational practices.
You can get to work at growing your body of knowledge, OR you can surround yourself with talented, dedicated and experienced professionals that allow you to offer your clients well-rounded, integrated and systemic solutions to highly complex problems.
As consultants and professional advisors, we have a wonderful opportunity to truly be the “conductor of the orchestra,” bringing together a seasoned team of professionals who are prepared to help our clients through a time of tremendous change and growth.
At the Galliard Family Business Advisor Institute, we are doing the same thing – seeking talented, dedicated and experienced advisors and consultants who see the value in the network, and believe in the synergistic power of collective problem solving. As we enter this new era, I have had the pleasure of reaching out across the network and collaborating with a number of fellow members to provide a wide range of services, from strategic HR consulting to financial planning and risk mitigation.
The country is opening up and so are we! After more than a year of hunkering down and just taking care of basics, we are blooming, once again, and excited to share news of our expansion and stories of resilience and strength arising from the toughest year in our organization’s history. Be on the lookout for more news and opportunities to connect with your fellow members, friends and advisors to ensure that we can continue, collectively, to support the world of family businesses!