Probably the most common challenge family business members face is isolation – it is often difficult to discuss problems with other family members, and those outside family business often don’t understand the unique dynamics of family enterprise.
CAFE’s Personal Advisory Groups (PAGs) meet the challenge head on by providing an unparalleled opportunity to discuss succession, business management, strategy and family issues with other members of family businesses.A CAFE Personal Advisory Group (PAG) is a group of 8-12 individuals, each from a family member company, who agree to meet regularly to share personal and business ideas and help each other overcome problems. It provides the group's members with expert, objective and intimate advice in an atmosphere of mutual trust and support. PAG's are open to all family members who are active in the business. Each family member will be in a different group, and there are no competing businesses in a group. As well other family members have formed groups in some of our Chapters, such as spousal groups. It is a highly successful program designed to help our members gain new perspectives and better understanding of the challenges of family business, to share experiences and to seek information.
The keys to the group's success are confidentiality and commitment to attendance. Meetings are arranged every four to six weeks and last about three hours. Once or twice in the year a two or three day "retreat" is arranged at a remote location. The PAG is self-directed by an elected Moderator. Meetings are arranged by the Moderator or a day Chair at various members' premises or at a club, hotel, etc. The only costs incurred are those in connection with meetings and members of the PAG share these.
CAFE is currently developing resources to provide both Moderator and Participant training for PAG's across Canada. This training will ensure success of the groups, and will afford participants the skill to enhance the value that can be derived from the PAG experience. Trainers have been identified and some training has been undertaken. CAFE currently has approximately 65 PAG groups operating across Canada. For more information about joining a PAG in your area contact your local Chapter.