Notes from The Dow Group's Executive Summit; St. Andrews, Scotland; Session 4 "The High Performing Family"; Presenter - Scott Dow
- Families are facing a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous ("VUCA") world
- High performing families adopt behaviors (their culture) that enable them to thrive in a VUCA world
- They embrace a growth mindset and develop a healthy power dynamic
- High performing families demonstrate a virtuous cycle - the right culture, a growth mindset, and the right power dynamic
The Right Culture
- Families often confuse family “Values” with “Culture”
- Values are thoughts while culture is behavior
- Values are the things a family believes to be important (Ex. legacy, philanthropy, politics)
- Values grow, evolve and sometimes change...that’s okay!
- Aligning on a cross generational belief system is key
- Values should guide Culture, but fissures are common (cognitive dissonance)
- Culture is a set of observable behaviors families exhibit when making decisions, solving problems and dealing with setbacks
COACHING POINTS - families are brand conscious. How they're viewed in their community is important. Family brands are built around certain attributes. The attributes are based on values, but reinforced by culture.
The Growth Mindset
- Family cultures promote a "growth mindset" or a "fixed mindset"
- Fixed mindset - must prove worth/save face, challenges are threats, failure is fatal
- Growth mindset - embrace challenges/potential/effort/learning/openness
- Each family member needs to find their purpose
- Their life’s purpose and family purpose are different, but should co-exist
- Self-coaching enables family members to perform better/live happier™
- Learning and development should be a family and individual pursuit
COACHING POINTS - the focus on wealth preservation can inadvertently promote a fixed mindset. Mixed messages are common.
The Right Power Dynamic (Communication & teamwork)
- Every family has a power dynamic
- The power is formal and informal, and both are important
- The formal power dynamic is implied influence, formalized and largely fixed
- The informal power dynamic is earned influence, informal and fluid
- Power struggles are common, but negotiable
- Intra-family communication and decision making are team-based skills
COACHING POINTS - power dynamics influence and reinforce problem solving, decision making and threat response (culture). Competing agendas and ulterior motives are common. The keys - shared vision, clear role definition and mutual accountability.
- High performance is a intentional process a family needs to embrace
- Performance metrics are more than financial
Food for thought
- Is your family belief system aligned?
- Are family members living with intentional purpose?
- How might the current power dynamic improve?