By Prof Sergio Guerrero Rosas
The family charter is one of the most important assets that a family business may have. It is a document that clearly defines a family business and provides future guidance to it. The family charter is so valuable that it can be equated to a treaty.
The family charter establishes the definition of the family business and its relationship with all the family members. It identifies the family business legacy left by previous generations and captures the mission and vision for the family members of tomorrow.
The creation of a family charter is an important step to guarantee that both the family and the company are aware of the rules that will guide them and what can be expected of each other. While the adoption of a family charter can be uncomfortable or awkward at the beginning, it can be useful in informing, reassuring, and successfully guiding everyone who has an active interest in the success of the family business and a personal interest in maintaining peace in the family.
Another benefit of the family charter is that it can serve as a safeguard against potential problems that may arise due to misunderstandings or differences of opinions. The following steps should be considered when creating a successful family charter.
- Analyse and understand in detail the characteristics of the family business, what makes it unique, and its strengths and weaknesses.
- Generate trust in order to ensure its success. All members should be made aware of its creation in order to generate a shared conscience by establishing an open communication line that allows all family members to be able to speak openly about any difficulty they may find. This will help everyone to understand its importance and relevance.
- Meet regularly and maintain an open dialogue, analyse the feedback received from each member, and enable group discussions that allow agreements to be reached efficiently.
- Once consensus has been reached, move forward in a clear and focused manner, establishing a specific schedule that contains the most viable strategy to achieve the short -and medium- term goals.