Do you have children that are millennials? What are millennials? They are those born between 1981 and 1996 who today would be 17 to 33 years of age.

They represent a significant demographic group, and by 2025, they will become 75 per cent of the global work force. They will be the inheritors of a significant portion of the anticipated $ 40 trillion of wealth that will pass between the generations over the next number of decades.

First, do you wish to pass on your wealth to your children? Most would answer that affirmatively. If not, stop reading right now. However, with your inheritance, one does not want to create an entitled silver spoon unambitious next generation. To avoid this is why you have to engage the millennials in your family.

What appeals to millennials? Today – from what I have read some key issues include

– social networks
– social responsibility, and
– work-life balance.

Let’s talk about social networks. I personally think that these can get in the way of effective communication. Communication is the key to be able to share ideas and thoughts within the family about the responsibility that goes along with the family business and its consequent wealth.

Try using one of their interests to engage them in the business and in the family wealth. For example, some family enterprises have begun their philanthropic efforts by allowing their children to 1) define the purpose of the giving 2) decide on the specific charities to support. This helps in the collaboration within this generation which can possibly be translated into the same collaboration that would be necessary in the business in later years.

So, I hope I have given you some thoughts and reasons to think about and approaches to engaging millennials for the betterment of your succession plan.

Learn, think, apply!

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