Virtual Tool 3: What Should We Talk about at Family Meetings?

What Should We Talk about
at Family Meetings?

Self-paced game

How to Play the Game?

Click Start to Watch the Game Introduction,
Then Take One Round at a Time.

  • Round One
  • Round Two
  • Round Three

Game Introduction

1st generation

Pablo
Eugenia

2nd generation

Brother 1
Anna
Sister 1
Antonio
Maria

3rd generation

Anna's son 1
Anna's son 2
Pablo
Carla
Sergio
Beatriz
Antonio Jr

4th generation

Antonio Jr
Jessica
Pablo
Eugenia
Antonio, 68 (early signs of Alzheimer)
Maria, 67
Pablo, 40
Carla, 35
Sergio, 45
Beatriz, 38
Antonio Jr (deceased at 3 yrs old, would be 37 today)
Antonio "Jr", 8
Jessica, 10
Anna, 66
Anna's two sons (43 and 40, one married, one divorced, both with children)
(fertility incompatibility, in the process of adopting a 5-yrs old son)
Controlling
Friendly but not close
Blood line
Spouse
  • Antonio

    Antonio, 68(early signs of Alzheimer)

  • Maria

    Maria, 67

  • Pablo

    Pablo, 40

  • Carla

    Carla, 35

  • Beatriz

    Beatriz, 38

  • Sergio

    Sergio, 45

  • Anna

    Anna, 66

  • Anna

    Anna's son 1, 43

  • Anna

    Anna's son 2, 40

Antonio

Antonio 68

Maria

Maria 67

Pablo

Pablo 40

Carla

Carla 35

Beatriz

Beatriz 38

Sergio

Sergio 45

Jessica

Jessica 10

Antonio Jr

Antonio "Jr" 8

Anna

Anna 66 and her 2 sons

Carla's brother 39

Institutional investor (10%)

Family

Business

Ownership

Adapted from:
Tagiuri and Davis (1982).

+- Read Details
Antonio is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chair of the Board of Directors, based in Mexico City. He is also the controlling owner. His son-in-law Sergio is Chief Operating Officer (COO) and based in California where most operations are today. He doesn't own shares in the company but his wife Beatriz does. He is considered for the CEO position. Pablo is Regional Vice-President Sales, based in Mexico City. He owns shares together with his sister Beatriz. Pablo and Beatriz are the future heirs of the Torres family business. Although not working in the business, Maria, as well as Anna and her two sons own some shares.

Close this window to launch Round One

map USA Mexico map map map map map torresFamily Distribution Center Distribution Center Distribution Center

Learn with the

Round One ? Should the Torres Family Decide, Be Consulted or Be Informed?

X

Instructions

For each topic or concern for the Torres family:

  • Indicate which territory of constituents in the Family Circle should decide (or be part of the decision-makers, if the decision is not limited to the Family Circle).
  • If no territory in the Family Circle should decide or be part of the decision-makers, then you would consider that the Family Circle should only be consulted or informed.
  • Your answers will be compared with those of Maria to calculate your affinity score with her.
Launch Round One

Board of Directors

Board Board Board Board torresFamily
Antonio

Antonio 68

Maria

Maria 67

Pablo

Pablo 40

Carla

Carla 35

Beatriz

Beatriz 38

Sergio

Sergio 45

Jessica

Jessica 10

Antonio Jr

Antonio "Jr" 8

Anna

Anna 66
and her 2 sons

Carla's brother 39

Institutional investor (10%)

Family

Business

Ownership

Family
Related
Topics

Business
Related
Topics

Ownership
Related
Topics

Family
Council
Meetings

Board of
Directors
Meetings

Shareholders
Group
Meetings

Adapted from:
Tagiuri and Davis (1982).

  • For each topic or concern for the Torres family:

    • Indicate which territory of constituents in the Family Circle should decide (or be part of the decision-makers, if the decision is not limited to the Family Circle).

    • If no territory in the Family Circle should decide or be part of the decision-makers, then you would consider that the Family Circle should only be consulted or informed.

    • Your answers will be compared with those of Maria to calculate your affinity score with her.

  • Question 1. Is this family going to expand its business abroad?

    Select one or more options:

    Your Affinity Score with Maria is calculated per Territory. If you and Maria both agree that a Territory is relevant, or if you both agree that a Territory is not relevant, then you have a matching answer for that Territory.

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territories C and D should decide as she believes it is the owners, including the outside financial investor, who should make that decision. Hence, in her view, members of Territory C and Territory D should be part of the decision-making, but together with the other owners.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • Question 2. Which values and traditions should guide the family?

    Select one or more options:

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territories A, B, C, D should decide as she believes all family members, whether or not working in the business or owning shares should be part of that discussion.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • Question 3. Does the business have sufficient financial resources to modernize its infrastructures?

    Select one or more options:

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territory B (if they are in relevant executive management roles) and Territory C should be part of the decision-making.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • Question 4. What fundamental values should drive the family's business efforts?

    Select one or more options:

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territories A, B, C, D should decide as she believes all family members, whether or not working in the business or owning shares should be part of that discussion.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • Question 5. How much profits should be reinvested in the company?

    Select one or more options:

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territories C and D should be part of the decision-making.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • Question 6. Should the family create a family fund to invest in the next generation's education?

    Select one or more options:

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territories A, B, C, D should decide as she believes all family members, whether or not working in the business or owning shares should be part of that discussion.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • Question 7. Should the family create a family foundation to invest time and money in philanthropic activities?

    Select one or more options:

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territories A, B, C, D should decide as she believes all family members, whether or not working in the business or owning shares should be part of that discussion.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • Question 8. Who should chair the company's Board of Directors?

    Select one or more options:

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territories C and D should be part of the decision-making.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • Question 9. Who should be the next CEO of the business?

    Select one or more options:

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territories C and D should be part of the decision-making.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • Question 10. Should we develop an initiative for the storytelling of the business family history?

    Select one or more options:

    Who Should Decide?

    Family

    Business

    Ownership

    A.

    B.

    C.

    D.

    X Maria says members in Territories A, B, C, D should decide as she believes all family members, whether or not working in the business or owning shares should be part of that discussion.
    Your affinity score with Maria for this question:
  • My Affinity Score with Maria

    / 100
    /
Good choice! There is a better option...

Round Two ? To Be or not to Be... Discussed by the Whole Family?

X

Instructions

Step 1:

  • Pick two characters of your choice among the invited participants to the family meetings.

Step 2:

  • Put yourself in Maria's shoes and assess if your two characters' topics should be discussed at the family meetings, how and when.

Then, look at the topics Maria wants to bring herself to the family meetings.

Launch Round Two
Maria
Maria

Top three topics they would like to talk about at the family meetings

Family Meetings

Month 1
Month 2
Month 3
Salon

What?

How?

When?

Step 1: Pick two characters of your choice among the invited participants to the family meetings.

  • Antonio, 68 (early signs of Alzheimer)
    • Building a legacy that will carry the family name for generations to come
    • Reorganizing family members representation on the Board of Directors
    • Creating a private health fund for the family
  • Anna, 66
    • Keeping the family business rooted in Mexico
    • Involving her two sons in working in the family business or on the Board of Directors
    • Creating a family philanthropic foundation
  • Pablo, 40
    • Protecting the family business from increasing global competition
    • Reinforcing the Torres family business brand
    • Having more regular reporting on major decisions in the business
  • Carla, 35
    • Parenting the next generation
    • Protecting the family legacy
    • Inviting her brother working in the business to these family meetings
  • Beatriz, 38
    • Involving children in these family meetings
    • Creating a family investment fund to help build homes in Haiti
    • Creating events to see the extended family including cousins, aunts, uncles more often
  • Sergio, 45
    • Professionalizing the family business even more and increasing rigor and discipline in decision-making processes
    • Opening ownership to in-laws
    • Welcoming additional institutional investors in the family business
  • Anna's son 1 (43): married with children
    • Understanding who speaks for the family outside
    • Understanding and updating the dividend policy
    • Understanding the rules to work in the family business (for his daughter graduating from college)
  • Anna's son 2 (40): divorced with children
    • Declined invitation. Pick another character.
  • Maria, 67
  • Organizer
  • Invited Participants

Step 2: Put yourself in Maria's shoes and assess if your two characters' topics should be discussed at the family meetings, how and when.

  • Step 1: Pick two characters of your choice among the invited participants to the family meetings and discover their three topics.

    • Antonio, 68 (early signs of Alzheimer)
      • Building a legacy that will carry the family name for generations to come
      • Reorganizing family members representation on the Board of Directors
      • Creating a private health fund for the family
    • Anna, 66
      • Keeping the family business rooted in Mexico
      • Involving her two sons in working in the family business or on the Board of Directors
      • Creating a family philanthropic foundation
    • Pablo, 40
      • Protecting the family business from increasing global competition
      • Reinforcing the Torres family business brand
      • Having more regular reporting on major decisions in the business
    • Carla, 35
      • Parenting the next generation
      • Protecting the family legacy
      • Inviting her brother working in the business to these family meetings
    • Beatriz, 38
      • Involving children in these family meetings
      • Creating a family investment fund to help build homes in Haiti
      • Creating events to see the extended family including cousins, aunts, uncles more often
    • Sergio, 45
      • Professionalizing the family business even more and increasing rigor and discipline in decision-making processes
      • Opening ownership to in-laws
      • Welcoming additional institutional investors in the family business
    • Anna's son 1 (43): married with children
      • Understanding who speaks for the family outside
      • Understanding and updating the dividend policy
      • Understanding the rules to work in the family business (for his daughter graduating from college)
    • Anna's son 2 (40): divorced with children
      • Declined invitation. Pick another character.
    • Maria, 67
    • Organizer
    • Invited Participants
  • Step 2: Put yourself in Maria's shoes and assess if your two characters' topics should be discussed at the family meetings, how and when.

    Then, look at the topics Maria wants to bring herself to the family meetings.

  • I agree
    I think differently...
    Antonio

    Topic 1. Building a legacy that will carry the family name for generations to come

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 2. Reorganizing family members' representation on the Board of Directors

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 3. Creating a private health fund for the family

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Anna

    Topic 1. Keeping the family business rooted in Mexico

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 2. Involving her two sons in working in the family business or on the Board of Directors

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 3. Creating a family philanthropic foundation

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Pablo

    Topic 1. Protecting the family business from increasing global competition

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 2. Reinforcing the Torres family business brand

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 3. Having more regular reporting of major decisions made in the business

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Carla

    Topic 1. Parenting the next generation

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 2. Protecting the family traditions and legacy

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 3. Inviting her brother working in the business to these Torres family meetings

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Beatriz

    Topic 1. Involving children in these family meetings

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 2. Creating a family investment fund to help build homes in poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 3. Creating events to see the extended family including cousins, aunts, uncles more often

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Sergio

    Topic 1. Professionalizing the family business even more and increasing rigor and discipline in decision-making processes

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 2. Opening ownership to in-laws

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 3. Welcoming additional institutional investors in the family business

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Anna's son 1

    Topic 1. Understanding who speaks for the family outside

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 2. Understanding and updating the dividend policy

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

    Topic 3. Understanding the rules to work in the family business (for his daughter graduating from college)

    • To Be Discussed? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • How? (answer as if you were Maria)

    • At which Family Meeting? (answer as if you were Maria)

  • My Affinity Score with Maria

    / 100
    /
  • Maria
    Maria

    See Maria’s top three topics she would like to bring to the family meetings:

    1. Engaging regular family discussions on: What is most important to us as a family? What makes us strong and united? How can we carry that in our day-to-day lives?
    2. Organizing time for reflection on: How can we dream together for ourselves and the next generation? What kind of projects can we all do together to share and learn?
    3. Getting everyone’s opinion on: How can we best prepare and make these family meetings harmonious and interesting for everyone? How can we connect those who live farther away or cannot attend in person?

Round Three ? Is This About Family? Business Ownership? The Group? Me?

X

Instructions

Here's five topics to talk about at family meetings. Is each topic primarily about: Family? Business Ownership? The Group? Me?

Launch Round Three torresFamily

Topics Often Addressed at Family Meetings

Family Issues & Challenges
Business Ownership Issues & Challenges
Group Vision & Aspirations
Personal Visions & Aspirations

Source: Business Families Foundation

What?

When?

How?

Pacing?

Here's five topics to talk about at family meetings.
Is each topic about:
Family? Business Ownership? The Group? Me?

See how similar your views are with Maria's.

Here's five topics to talk about at family meetings. Is each topic primarily about: Family? Business Ownership? The Group? Me?

  • Topic 1. Informing family members and owners of the business' activities and plans

    Is this topic primarily about:

  • Topic 2. Educating family members about their stewardship role with regard to the family values

    Is this topic primarily about:

  • Topic 3. Setting collective goals for ourselves

    Is this topic primarily about:

  • Topic 4. Asking each member where they individually want to be in five years time

    Is this topic primarily about:

  • Topic 5. Siblings offering each other care and support

    Is this topic primarily about:

  • My Affinity Score with Maria

    / 100
    /

My Total Affinity Score

Please go through the three rounds first.
*

Whether you have obtained a low or a high affinity score, you have probably noticed that the Torres family, like all families in business around the world, deal with many soft issues and dilemmas for which answers are not simple. Trust, regular communication and a code of conduct to address and discuss these issues are key.

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Round One

Round Two

Round Three

* Based on the number of questions per round.

Definition of a Family Meeting

An action with a purpose: to meet regularly in order to raise and address current and future issues, to exchange views, to share dreams, to communicate harmoniously, to listen to one another, and to make decisions together as a family.

Family Meetings can be organized for a few participants and be relatively informal, or may take place in the context of larger or more formal forums, such as Family Councils and Family Assemblies.

Three Golden Rules for Effective Family Meetings

  1. The frequency at which you do family meetings may vary. Too often may put pressure on members. Too distanced in time may create a loss of momentum. Try a certain frequency and adjust with your family over time.
  2. Put as much effort on preparing for the meeting and following up on action items after the meeting, than on conducting the meeting itself.
  3. Give a voice to everyone, and make it enjoyable! Use the help of an expert facilitator when needed.

The Torres Family

1st generation

Pablo
Eugenia

2nd generation

Brother 1
Anna
Sister 1
Antonio
Maria

3rd generation

Anna's son 1
Anna's son 2
Antonio Jr
Pablo
Carla
Sergio
Beatriz

4th generation

Antonio Jr
Jessica
Pablo
Eugenia
Antonio, 68 (early signs of Alzheimer)
Maria, 67
Pablo, 40
Carla, 35
Sergio, 45
Beatriz, 38
Antonio Jr (deceased at 3 yrs old, would be 37 today)
Antonio "Jr", 8
Jessica, 10
Anna, 66
Anna's two sons (43 and 40, one married, one divorced, both with children)
(fertility incompatibility, in the process of adopting a 5-yrs old son)
Controlling
Friendly but not close
Blood line
Spouse

The Three Circle Model

  • Antonio

    Antonio, 68

  • Maria

    Maria, 67

  • Pablo

    Pablo, 40

  • Carla

    Carla, 35

  • Beatriz

    Beatriz, 38

  • Sergio

    Sergio, 45

  • Jessica

    Jessica, 10

  • Antonio Jr

    Antonio "Jr", 8

  • Anna

    Anna, 66

  • Anna

    Anna's son 1, 43

  • Anna

    Anna's son 2, 40

Antonio

Antonio 68

Maria

Maria 67

Pablo

Pablo 40

Carla

Carla 35

Beatriz

Beatriz 38

Sergio

Sergio 45

Jessica

Jessica 10

Antonio Jr

Antonio "Jr" 8

Anna

Anna 66 and her 2 sons

Carla's brother 39

Institutional investor (10%)

Family

Business

Ownership

Adapted from:
Tagiuri and Davis (1982).

+- Read Details
Antonio is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chair of the Board of Directors, based in Mexico City. He is also the controlling owner. His son-in-law Sergio is Chief Operating Officer (COO) and based in California where most operations are today. He doesn't own shares in the company but his wife Beatriz does. He is considered for the CEO position. Pablo is Regional Vice-President Sales, based in Mexico City. He owns shares together with his sister Beatriz. Pablo and Beatriz are the future heirs of the Torres family business. Although not working in the business, Maria, as well as Anna and her two sons own some shares.
Credits X

Conception: Pascale Michaud

Web Design: Francois Viens

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