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We’re a family for your family business.

We are a full-service Family Business Advisory Firm with a passion for and deep experience in guiding enterprising families as they move through generational transitions and the ongoing transitions, challenges and opportunities they face.

As a parent, are you worried about the pressures the business may put on your children’s relationships and marriages?

Are you worried about the next-generation’s capacity to lead and/or work together?

As a rising gen member, how are you stepping up, earning trust, and demonstrating the skills necessary to contribute to a sustainable future?

As a sibling, do you have concerns about working with and/or making ownership decisions with your siblings? About your options to contribute and to develop?

As a spouse, how might the business be a blessing or curse to your marriage, to other family relationships, and to your children?

Do you have a clear, written Crisis Plan that’s fair for the family and business?

Do you have a Development Plan to prepare the next generation to steward your legacy?

As a non-family employee, are you concerned about leadership gaps, family dynamics, or challenges – named or unnamed – given an eventual generational transition?

Facilitating Healthy Communications & Conflict Resolution

Managing conflict and leaning into crucialconversations is a critical skill for enterprising families who share ownership and/or management responsibilities.  This is required for effective joint decision making.

We help families get unstuck, agree on next steps, or align on direction and leadership. Whether your goal is succession, creating great governance, or building your teams, we help you “figure it out” and manage differences over time.

Succession & Continuity Planning 

Transitioning wisdom and power to the next generation is often fraught with anxiety, uncertainty, and throws the family and business into emotional landmines with complex questions. These often once-in-a-lifetime transitions are often treacherous and cause chaos.

Our seasoned advisory team offers firsthand deep experience, guidance and wisdom which has led to hundreds of business families transition from one generation to the next. 

“Transitioning a family business from any owner or founder is a challenge … a long and winding road with many hills and valleys.” David Doll, President & CEO, Kanaly Trust Company, a family business in Houston, Texas.

Don’t go it alone; it’s too treacherous for your family and your enterprises.

Preparing the Next Generation  

While you can hire non-family managers, you can’t hire effective, knowledgeable owners/shareholders.  Successful generational transitions begin early, focused on the rising generation building self-awareness, understanding their strengths and growth areas, and developing competencies and skills.  Understanding family business in general and their family business system in particular are beneficial in helping them find their voice and make wise choices.

Don’t go it alone; it’s too treacherous for your family and your enterprises.

Management Transition Planning 

Transitions in management for business families are naturally complex.  Expect it to be a messy, often difficult process given the natural complexities with roles, relationships and expectations.  The hope is that these transitions can lead to stronger family relationships and business performance.

Ownership Transition & Alignment    

Enterprising families can hire high-performing non-family managers and can select non-family directors.  However, you can’t hire effective, knowledgeable owners/shareholders to give leadership through the multi-generation journey.  Developing aligned, competent, committed owners is an essential team-building process which will be a powerful lift or a catastrophic drag for generations. We’ve witnessed too often owning families who ignore developing a thoughtful transition process do so at their own peril. 

We help enterprising families prepare, select, and structure a process where shareholders  develop a Shared Dream documented in a Shareholder Covenant to speak with one voice to the Board, Management, and the Family. 

Educating & Organizing the Family

Your family is your most precious asset and the foundation of healthy enterprises.  Families share history and shared experiences.  As the family grows, members often become geographically and emotionally distant which can fray trust.    

When family members, including spouses, are emotionally connected, educated and engaged about the relationships in the family business system, trust and goodwill are deepened. 

We help families achieve this in coaching and through family meetings or Family Councils, elevating the family to the significance it deserves.

“We help you chart your paths – develop leaders, teams, and great governance – and build capacity for your journey up your Mountains”

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning for enterprising families is much more than family and business strategy.  Rather it is honestly naming the realities across your “MOUNTAIN-Scape” to include the state of your Family, Management, Shareholders and Board and casting a unified vision of each of these Teams/Structures.  And then thoughtfully charting integrated, interdependent paths forward so all may flourish.

Family Business Crisis Intervention 

Every family faces crises which can threaten or fray the fabric of the strongest families.  Crises may be caused by premature deaths, mental or physical disabilities, mental health issues, and addictions.  When the family also holds the responsibility to steward businesses, the dynamics, risk, and impact are often compounded.

We’ve developed a broad resource network which understands and works in collaboration to guide the family through the rapids of crucial conversations, anxiety, and uncertainty so both the family and enterprises move to the other side with clarity and comfort.

Navigating the Complexities of Blended Families, Addictions, Disabilities 

Families are sometimes not prepared for differences they face with blended families, differences in learning, spiritual practices, sexual orientation, etc.  These crises and differences are compounded when the family owns enterprises and assets together.

We have the compassion, experience, and competencies to guide business families through all kinds of complexities while helping the family maintain sight of their short- and long-term goals and vision.

Independent Board Development & Search

As companies grow and industries consolidate, enterprising families need consistent outside counsel.  Studies show that family businesses with outside boards perform better and are in a better position to transfer their enterprises to the next generation.

Many of our clients have well-developed management systems, but lack the accountability, the nurture, and the seasoned counsel from others who have already successfully negotiated a similar journey.  Outside directors provide radar about dangers ahead and provide an insurance policy to “comfortable” family businesses. 

We’ve developed dozens of effective high-performing independent boards for enterprising families that lead to unfair competitive advantage. 

Enterprising Family Leadership Development

Family businesses require leadership in the family, business, shareholder, and board teams. Over the last 30 years we have identified particular leadership attitudes and skills that increase the odds that both the family and business will succeed. We call it whole-hearted leadership. Developing whole-hearted leaders is integral to our work with business families.

Some whole-hearted leadership attitudes and skills include self-awareness, individuation, empathy, vulnerability, confidence, competencies, and humility.

You need DVFBC

We facilitate crucial conversations about the future of your family and businesses that families usually can’t lean into alone.

Experts in Your Corner

A family business faces unique challenges that no other businesses face. Our Advisors understand the inherent complexity of your family business system, and how to guide you to elevate your family business generation.

Meet Our Team

Our Advisory Network

It takes a tribe to support Family Enterprises through the generations. In addition to working with our clients’ advisors, we have selected, vetted, and collaborated with multi-disciplinary advisors, our Advisory Network. Our Advisory Network provides deep experience and expertise in a variety of competencies, and a collaborative spirit.

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