RendezVous’23 Raises the Bar (Again)

Every summer since 2014 I’ve looked forward to the annual RendezVous of the Purposeful Planning Institute, which is regularly the best week of my professional year.

I’m writing this at the Denver airport as my flight home has been delayed. 

This conference, along with other PPI activities throughout the year, has provided more blog inspiration than anything else over the years.

As our closing keynote speaker noted today, this is not a conference, it’s an experience. He was bang on, as I told him as I hugged him when he was done. 

I lost count of how many hugs I was involved in over four days.

The Inside View of the “Village” of Work

Many readers know that I’ve been involved in one way or another in the preparation and planning of this event over its last 6 iterations, which included 2 “RendeZoom” versions thanks to you-know-what.

Last year we got together in real life once again, and the experience was among the best ever, which many chalked up to the fact that it had been 3 years since we’d all been together.

The bar from RV’22 was therefore already high, and yet everyone I spoke to agreed that we’ve raised it once again.

Survey feedback is yet to come, and of course there are lots of things that can be improved, but I for one still have a long way to come down from this annual Rocky Mountain high.

The Joy of Connection

Last year’s theme was “The Fundamentals of Human Connection” which was quite à propos considering its post-pandemic timing.

We followed that up this year with “The Joy of Connection”, and I cannot recall ever making so many connections at a conference, and not just shallow ones.

As many of us admitted, working with families on the eventual transition of their wealth from one generation to the next can be very emotional work, which is ironically often lonely for those who practice in the area of professional guidance and facilitation.

This is the one week each year when so many of us come together to share our experiences, learnings, challenges, frustrations, and dreams of what’s possible, with so many of our like-minded and like-hearted colleagues, many of whom become close friends (hence all the hugging).

“You Have to Experience It to Understand”

It would be impossible to do justice to the experience in just one blog post, so I won’t even attempt that here.

In previous years, I’ve written some kind of summary or highlight blog after returning home.

This year I just want to share my gratitude for the PPI Community who are truly my “tribe”, which I’ve known for nine years now.

I’ll surely circle back on some of the topics we discussed in future posts, over the coming weeks and months.

One comment I heard from a few attendees, as they related their difficulty in conveying what goes on at RendezVous to colleagues, was “It’s really hard to describe, you have to experience it to understand”.


So Much Work, So Much Reward

As noted above, having an inside view of some of the committees (called “expeditions” in PPI-speak”) involved in preparing this annual extravaganza, I’ve seen first hand just how much work is involved.

Thankfully, the “many hands make light work” proverb applies, and we know that it truly takes a “village” to pull it all off.

The organisation itself (PPI) continues to evolve and mature, along with the field of working with wealthy families that we serve.

Since our fearless founder, John A. Warnick, convened the first RendezVous in 2011, the leadership has evolved as well, and is now about to pivot to an even more distributed model, much like what some of our family enterprise clients face when the founding generation cedes its place to the rising gen.

Light On Content, High on Vibe

Apologies for those who read my work for content, as this post is light on that.

I’m trying to convey the vibe of this group, who continue to inspire me and my work.

The conference is NOT light on content, even though much of that content is focussed on process, as in how we work with family clients.

As one presenter noted, the process is the product!

If you think this group might be for you, get in touch and I’ll gladly fill you in over a Zoom call