My work with families sharing businesses and other forms of wealth across generations requires collaboration and learning across disciplines. No single profession has all that these families need to thrive across time, and every professional truly committed to serving these families looks beyond his or her own profession to learn more and be able to contribute as much as possible.

The Family Firm Institute and Purposeful Planning Institute are organizations in which I am actively involved. Both are committed to bringing together professionals serving enterprising families to harness the creative brainpower of people from very diverse professional backgrounds for the benefit of families.

I am currently planning for my role on a panel at the Family Firm Institute Global Conference – Research and Education Symposium on October 29th, 2016. Our breakout session is named, “Diversity in the Family Business Sandbox: Playing with Ideas at the Intersection of Academia, Research and Consulting” and exemplifies cross-disciplinary collaboration and the power of approaching a subject from multiple points of view.

My diverse co-panelists are:

Dr. Sherrill Hayes, Kennesaw State University, Director, Master of Science in Conflict Management Program. He is an expert in conflict management and focuses on family, community, and organizational dispute resolution among many other applications of his knowledge.

Dr. Gaia Marchisio, Kennesaw State University, Executive Director, Cox Family Enterprise Center. She has written on game theory and family business succession, narcissism in organizational contexts and many other topics in the field.

Mariana Saavedra, 4th generation member of the Espinosa Group (a family enterprise) from Bogota, Colombia. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Anthropology at Cornell University. Her dissertation focuses on family businesses in Columbia.

It is hard to describe the incredible energy in our conversations as we toss around varied ideas about working with enterprising families. Let me simply say that every professional whose clients are multigenerational families will benefit greatly by getting together with smart, like-minded professionals from diverse backgrounds. Family members can also be an integral part of the process in groups with members of other families or combined with professionals.

There are many ways to accomplish this; please get in touch if you’d like to brainstorm how to access this for yourself whether you are a professional or family member.