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FAMILY VALUES, MISSION & VISION STATEMENTS

What are your family's values and what values do you want the business to promote? Does your family business have a vision? What does your business stand for? These questions can be answered in clearly defined Family Business Values, Mission & Vision Statements. 

Understanding a family's values, clarifying a family's mission, and articulating a clear vision are the major differentiators among the family businesses which prosper and exist longer than the tenure of one generation of owners.  

For many businesses, a mission statement has been around for years, but developing a mission statement for a family business can be challenging. A carefully constructed mission statement is especially critical to the success of a family business because it can promote cohesiveness among family members. A family business mission statement allows family members to understand and work toward the stated goals of the business. 

WHAT ARE OUR FAMILY VALUES?

The Family Values Statement establishes the bedrock for corporate culture. Business leaders understand that the financial success of any company ultimately rests upon its culture and underlying values. The most successful families, too, have strong values rooted in member's emotional bonds, blood ties, and shared history.  

 

Values become the proverbial pillars that inform the family's actions, beliefs, and ultimately their behaviours. Selecting the most critical values to be part of the family's values statement is an important element of the process and only the shared values the family believes are important to the family's identity and culture need to be included.  

 

The power of a well-developed Values Statement plays out in the family business in a number of important ways:   

  • Laying the bedrock for corporate culture

  • Providing a template for decision making

  • Inspiring top performance

  • Supporting a patent, long-term view

  • Developing a stewardship mind-set  

  • Reducing the cost of capital

  • Challenging conventional thinking

  • Adapting to change

  • Improving strategic planning

  • Forging strategic alliances

  • Recruiting and retaining employees

  • Providing meaning to work.

WHY ARE WE IN BUSINESS TOGETHER AND WHAT ARE WE GOING TO ACHIEVE AS A FAMILY?

The Family Mission Statement provides the intention and purpose for keeping the family connected with the business. A well-developed mission statement is grounded by the governing values or principles the family wants all members to live by, thus resulting in the family's values being embedded in the mission statement.  

 

Missions are like a family's signature - each is special and unique, yet they share consistent features with other statements. The mission becomes the family signature to ground and align family interests towards a common purpose.  

CAMERON FAMILY MISSION STATEMENT

The purpose of the Cameron Family is to pursue individual and family happiness through love and meaningful work. We commit to enriching ourselves and the world through: 

 

  • Personifying our shared values: respect for others, generosity, equality, education, empathy, integrity, and accountability.  

  • Associating ourselves with good people, places and things. 

  • Preserving, promoting, and passing along the intellectual wealth, the family history, and the family legacy. 

  • Nurturing and safeguarding all family members.  

  • Working as a family to create and preserve financial wealth.  

  • Enjoying life through good health, good behaviour and good attitudes. 

The family's values and mission become the grounding principles and directives for how the family business alignments with the family. If the family business holds different values or operates under a mission in conflict with that of the family, conflicts are likely to arise. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF VISION

"If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you."  

 

STEVE JOBS

Imagine that you and your family were able to catapult yourselves into the future and you could envision your great-grandchildren and their families. What would be the state of your family in this perfect world? How are you working with one another? What is the culture of the family business? Would there be a strong sense of connection and family togetherness? What is the sense of health, intellectual, and financial well-being of each individual family member and collectively?  

 

Why should having a vision only apply to a business and not the family owning the business? Just like visioning for a business, there is tremendous benefit for families that engage family members in the visioning process.  

 

  • A vision lays out an intention and expectation of the preferred culture of the family. 

  • It articulates the underlying values of the family. 

  • It inspires the stakeholders of the organisation - family members, executives and employees to achieve the vision. 

 

Visions are intended to create energy, momentum and excitement for the road ahead, while firmly pulling its constituents toward a positive future.