There are three components to family governance:
The rare family in business may have a more elaborate family governance structure, with a separate meeting for family-owner-managers or a separate council for family shareholders or periodic meetings between shareholders, the board, and management. I prefer the simplest structure that does the job and the three components above are all most families in business need.
Properly composed and managed, a family assembly and family council help:
The family assembly typically meets annually, lasts one to two days, and includes all adult family members (yes, including in-laws). Families need to decide at what age children should attend these meetings. One family says that children should attend when they are able to feed themselves; most families start bringing the younger generation into meetings at around age 16. For the young children, families should still consider organizing some group activities where the children can begin to learn about the business and develop relationships with their siblings and cousins.
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