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February 2022

Letters from feisal

The missing piece to generational continuity...

Dear friend, 

We live in uncertain times, in an increasingly complex world. With an accelerating speed of change, the gap between generations is widening and the traditional family structure is being tested. Innovative solutions are emerging to meet these challenges, one of which is an integrative approach that helps families build a resilient foundation, and drives authentic communication to help them unite as one to co-create a shared future.

At the heart of every family business are people and their families. Human connection, relationships, and empathy drives success.The ability to engage with different perspectives in the collective, and to create a safe space for such conversations is paramount.

As a 3rd generation kid growing up as part of a family business, I felt there were many conversations between family members that were much needed, but never had. This resulted in misunderstandings that were not acknowledged and thus left unaddressed. Perspectives remained different between family members with some feeling that they did not have the opportunity to prove themselves, and to self actualize.

A foundation of trust is needed for authentic communication to occur in the family. This begins at the individual level. The physical, mental-emotional and relational state of an individual provides the foundation from which to build upon. An integrative approach to health and wellbeing enables the individual to be self-aware and build resilience.

The individual develops a clear sense of self within the family, and as more family members engage in this way, each person’s vulnerability creates a foundation of trust. Feeling safe to communicate their truth, an authentic ‘me’ helps build the bridge to create a unified ‘we’.

Individual and collective learnings through authentic communication transform underlying dynamics of nuclear and multi-generational families, solidifying harmony and creating enduring impact.

I invite you to read an article I recently co-wrote with Jeremy Cheng, explaining how bridging a human-systems approach and family-systems approach is the missing piece to building dynamic durability within family businesses. (Article below)

With love and gratitude,

feisal

Discover

The missing piece of dynamic durability as featured in FFI Practitioner February 2022

The existing practice of creating formal governance for entrepreneurial families is process-driven and structure-oriented.

While governance advisors usually approach each family member to understand his or her personal aspirations and challenges, deeper work on individual issues often gets postponed, if not ignored, even though this work is necessary to reveal the underlying family dynamics.

Our experience has taught us that before initiating any governance-related process, the ideal starting point is a human-systems approach followed by a family-systems approach.

How to improve family dynamics during disruptive times

How can we reduce tension among family members during times of disruption, and what are the communication tools families can use?

There are ways to recognize triggers, defuse potential conflicts and keep a distance to provide space while still showing support. Kathleen O’Hara, our Mental and Emotional Wellbeing Head at Qineticare shares more in the webinar below.

Food for thought

The importance of eating together 

Eating together is therapeutic: an excuse to talk, to reflect on the day, and on recent events. A simple act of dining together can radically shift people’s perspectives and forge closer bonds within the family. Read more here

How to make stress your friend?

Stress often has a negative connotation, but research suggests that it may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others. Watch it here

Family ghosts in the executive suite 

To achieve your greatest potential, we need to recognize our own “family ghosts”, understand how they influence our behavior in adulthood and at work, and decide which ones to celebrate and which ones to leave behind. Read more here

How to manage traditions for the continued success of the family business

Traditions are important to family businesses. Founders don’t only pass on ownership to the next generation, they also pass on traditions. Read more here

Quotes to Inspire

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.”

– Anthony Brandt

Love is like water found in rivers, waterfalls, and oceans. It’s fluidity enables its form to change depending on the need.”

– feisal alibhai

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