What Business Families Can Do During Times of Isolation
23rd March 2020
Earlier this week, I spoke to Juliette Johnson, Juliette Johnson Consultancy, about how families can meaningfully and creatively approach their family ownership in these highly difficult times.
What would you say are some of the most important things families need to do/think about during these unprecedented times of social distancing, contingency planning and crisis management?
I would say it’s important that families keep communicating, more so now than ever. Embracing technology but also finding ways of connecting in those family members who are not familiar with using technology. As businesses hit hard times, it’s even more important to keep shareholder involved and informed.
How can family member support each other?
There is an assumption that online is the only way in these times but let’s not forget that some people may need a phone call or a visit. It’s about knowing your family and how you connect.
A lot of shareholders will be concerned about extended family and employees.
I think it’s important that people take time to discuss and consider what’s right for their family and look at what is needed for everyone to stay healthy, safe and emotionally well.
Do you see a particular role for the next generation here?
We talk a lot about senior generation passing on the baton. Now is a great time to recognise what the senior generation has done and for the next generation to give back.
It’s a huge opportunity for the next generation to step up and show leadership. Especially if older family members are needing to isolate. But the next generation may still need support to rise to the challenge.
Do you have any other thoughts or advice for families at this present moment?
This is an opportunity for families to take a step back, take a look at things and ask themselves if they are really living their values and if they are doing things the way they want to.
On a very practical note, I’d say it’s important to keep family council meetings going in which ever form people are able to and for people to communicate more than they are used to.
Newsletters are another good source of keeping everyone involved. And if possible the company Chair may want to host regular calls, giving shareholders the opportunity to ask questions about how the business is doing.
About Juliette Johnson
Juliette Johnson Consultancy is dedicated to supporting and advising families in business and wealthy families across the generations.
Juliette established her boutique consultancy firm in 2013 after over 15 years of experience as an advisor, facilitator and educator to family businesses and wealthy families.With previous roles as Head of UK Family Business at Coutts & Co and Director of the BDO Centre for Family Business, she has developed a strong reputation for helping families transition their family businesses and their family wealth, smoothly and harmoniously from one generation to the next. Find out more.