All families of significant wealth eventually experience increasing complexity in decision making as shared assets pass to the next generations. Successful management of shared family wealth with numerous stakeholders demands formal family governance structures with policies and procedures for what decisions are needed, when and how they will be made, and by whom. Making decisions as a group is a skill that can be learned and applied; and if done effectively, will foster an environment of trust, perception of fairness, and accountability.
CREATING FORUMS FOR DECISION MAKING
As a group holding shared responsibilities, creating a forum to encourage exchange of ideas and information sharing, to be heard and to respectfully listen to others in a safe environment is a first step best practice for decision making. Committing to meet at specified dates, times and locations with a purpose of achieving defined goals means you are carving out time to take care of business, including the business of making decisions with your co-stakeholders where everyone can be present and have an opportunity to express his or her interest, position or opinions. When individuals are given a chance to have his or her voice heard the final decision is more likely to be accepted because it is perceived as being fair regardless of whether it was unanimous.
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