Family councils – A body of differentiation for continuity of growth, unity, and harmony

By SOCH Business Mentors LLP Posted January 17, 2022 in Governance

Family councils – A body of differentiation for continuity of growth, unity, and harmony

Undoubtedly, Indian family businesses are going through a perfect storm of changes in the business environment, the political landscape, the supporting forces of the west, the technology upheaval, our country’s internal ecosystem restructuring and the shift of power from the far east to India. This perfect storm presents an unprecedented opportunity for those who choose to navigate this storm, gaining their winning edge. Those who delay in observing and reacting to these changes may face the threat of extinction or mediocre growth. 

In the last decade, few family businesses that took the lead to not wait-and-watch took responsible steps of learning, developing, and implementing the constitution-led family councils for their family enterprise. An effective and well-functioning family council acts as a decision centre for all family enterprise decisions. This delivers multi-generational success for a family enterprise.  

After establishing nearly seventy family councils for family enterprises in global regions of EU, MENA, NA, LATAM, APAC and now in India – it is evident that the difference between a successful UHNI family and a family that became history or stagnant is the vital role of an active, effective, and forward-looking family council.  

A Family Council is the chief governing body working alongside other peer and supporting governance bodies. Its key role is to ensure continuity of growth, unity, and harmony of the family enterprise. Family council creates the case for a lasting & abundant family business for generations to come by skillfully drawing their decisions from their family constitution. The constitution, which embodies the seed of the family’s enterprising spirit, and its timeless wisdom holds endless promise with the power to prevail and succeed.  

This seed is supported by a cluster of structure and macro/microsystems called family governance. The birth of the family council role ensures this whole cluster functions for constitutional adherence, delivering abundance, happiness, and multi-generational success to the family. This, in turn, makes the family operate as an institution that augments further its thriving enterprises and businesses worldwide. 

The councils’ decision spectrum spans across strategically architecting their enterprise and capital (financial and social), planning for succession via effective succession strategies, proactively managing conflicts, brewing a culture where family engages in the most superior form of active growth, progress and productivity, taking institutionalisation seriously and working hard to create a compelling value proposition for attracting worldwide investors, talents, partnerships and many more. 

This doesn’t happen overnight. If family businesses understand this, they will begin to view their family enterprise as a necessity and soon begin their thinking and actioning. The payoffs are beyond imagination to most of the committed seventy mentioned above, which we help to build. 

This is a long game to play, but family businesses are uniquely positioned to succeed at it. All it takes is to recognise the need to act timely and take a bold step for their family enterprise.