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What does the future hold? Is the future defined by the past?
What are advisors thinking about and what are enterprising families asking about?
Crystal balls tend to be a bit cloudy, making the idea of predictions challenging. But, of course imperfections in reading that round bit of glass do not deter us from continuing to offer our prognostications.
As we follow the threads and trends in family enterprise and entrepreneurship/leadership, we might want to focus on how families can learn how to enhance resiliency and develop our next generation as thoughtful, impactful leaders. We also might want to pursue wholeheartedly the idea of learning in the classroom of life, by cultivating curiosity in our interactions with others, seeing them as experiments so we can continue to learn about our impact on people, the environment and the sustainability of all of our resources. Another emerging image on the crystal ball is a large question with respect to the impact of trusts and philanthropic foundations on the future of families and of the world.
Our crystal ball also shares insight on the changing demography of families as well as the impact of a global economy and rapid (and changing) information flow. Each of these factors change the landscape of the families and how they manage their decision making. For instance, having increasingly older family members leads to questions of cognitive capacity in decision making; transitions are more complicated because they involve at least three generations and more complicated family structures; the increasing involvement of women increases diversity as well as the sheer number of people in the mix and thus further complicates an already complex set of dynamics. The future will clearly be more about people and relational dynamics and the impact of human capital on sustainability will be magnified.
As the number of wealthy families in the world increases, so will the need for a “place “to handle all of the complexities that accompany wealth. The “place” will increasingly become single family offices which will need to define their position vis a vis the family AND its assets. For example, are the single family office staff “in service” or “of service”. If there is currently a service industry that has grown to meet the needs of the wealthy, that will be increasing and thus potentially having more impact.
I hope that you will join me in a dialogue about these and other trends in 2019!!
In the meantime – Happy Holidays!
December 27, 2018 at 12:03PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs