Purpose, place & profit in the family business

A framework for dialogue and discussion

April 2017

A clear purpose is fundamental to family businesses, and those with the strongest sense of purpose are often the most successful – achieving profit with purpose. Have you asked yourselves (and answered) the necessary questions to ensure you have a strong platform of purpose, a critical factor for long term success?


Family enterprises are uniquely complex organisations, with a wide range of interrelated stakeholders who can often pull in different directions. Yet we see that the most successful family enterprises around the world manage to unite the constituent individuals, family and business and coalesce them around a common sense of purpose.

Clarity and unity of purpose brings great strength. Of course, this is easier said than done, and it can be incredibly hard for a multi-generational family in business together to identify a shared purpose, let alone articulate it.

Against this backdrop, we have developed a framework to help families articulate their shared purpose. It is a simple framework – it consists of a series of questions about place in different guises, under the headings of individual, family and business. Although it is simple, we find it to be very powerful; it can act as a practical prompt for family discussions and also as a self-diagnostic. Our hope is that by considering your individual place in the world, your family’s place in your business, and your business’ place in your community, you are able to harness the power of place and purpose to ensure continued commercial success and family harmony.

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