Experts Playing in Many Different Sandboxes

During the decade since I had my calling to work with families on transitioning their wealth from one generation to the next, I’ve met hundreds of other professionals who also serve families hoping to achieve that goal.

This work is typically quite complex, and there’s often a lot at stake for the families, so it’s actually quite normal that many experts will serve any given family over the years, as the family and its needs evolve, along with the businesses and assets they own.

The past few years have also seen an increasing recognition that we experts must learn to work together if we hope to properly meet the needs of such families in a holistic way.

See: From Multi-Disciplinary Field to Interdisciplinary Ecosystem.

In addition to the work we do serving these families, there are many other ways to help this ecosystem evolve, and many different “sandboxes” in which some professionals play, as part of advancing the greater good.

An Abundance Mentality Helps

I’ve been blessed with meeting so many others who share the abundance mentality that’s required for professionals to agree to share their knowledge with others, while understanding that trying to “corner the market” isn’t really the best way to go in an emerging field like this one. 

See: Spreading the Gospel Vs. Cornering the Market from 2013.



I had a recent exchange with a colleague I’ve known for years that caused me to reflect on the various ways I’ve been participating in this ecosystem, which I somehow (selfishly) imagined was common knowledge. 

I share my thoughts about my work and the industry regularly, and this has gradually seen me develop a following that continues to grow.

The fact that this colleague I’ve known for years seemed unfamiliar with my work made me realize that not everyone consumes my content, and many go about making contributions in lots of other ways too. 

It also made me grateful for those of you who do follow my contributions.

Peer Organisations Are Prevalent and Front and Center

There are three main peer groups that I’ve been involved with since I began this work, and there are others I’ve not joined, because, well, you can’t do everything.

I found this work via Family Enterprise Canada and their Family Enterprise Advisor program, and I continue to contribute to that organisation as an ambassador, podcast host, and member of their editorial committee. I’ve also MC’d their annual Symposium the past two years.

See: Let’s Talk Family Enterprise podcast

Then there’s FFI, the Family Firm Institute, where I also enjoy interacting with peers in the field. I’m in a global virtual study group there, and a faculty member in their Global Education Network (GEN Program) where I’m one of the instructors for the Family Governance course.

Last but not least, PPI, the Purposeful Planning Institute, has resulted in some wonderful professional relationships and great learning.

Their annual RendezVous in Denver is always a highlight for me, and I’ve been lucky enough to serve on the Wisdom Expedition, charged with planning and selecting all of the breakout sessions for that conference.

Activities, Content Creation, Teaching, Serving Families

For those entering this ecosystem, there are so many ways to learn, get involved, and interact with other, like-minded professionals.

I’m grateful to those who’ve made great strides already, leading the organisations I’m part of as well as everyone who also creates content, does webinars, teaches courses, and organizes events so we can meet and learn together from one another.

So many people have been thoughtfully sharing for years (even decades in many cases) and this is beneficial to all of us who work with families, and of course ultimately to the families themselves.

Career Life Cycles, Like Families

In a “meta” kind of way, it’s noteworthy that the industry has career life cycles, not unlike the families we work with.

The elders lead and are eventually replaced by those who learned by following their footsteps.

Professionals all contribute differently based on their strengths, priorities, time commitments, and career cycle stage.

I continue to enjoy the parts I play, and realize how lucky I’ve been to follow many of the great leaders in this space.

It’s also a pretty small world, kind of like a big family, in many ways.

Post Script

I recently learned that my blog ranks nicely on this list of the Top 45 Family Business Blogs, and they asked me to share this link, so you can check out the others too.