Generative families have vitality, creativity and the ability to continually reinvent themselves over generations. They are rare and unique entity that is capable of sustaining consistent control over a long period of time. They are important because unlike so many business ventures that focus on current profits, generative families can endure long-term with values that transcend profitability. They STAND for something, offering lessons that can be profitably learned not just by family business in first generation but also by non-family enterprises that want to operate with values beyond the bottom line.
Generative families use their resources not just to sustain what they have but to create something new. The family extends its legacy – the family members’ values and practices- in new directions that add not just to the family’s financial wealth but also to its human, social, relationship and spiritual “capital”. The ability to adapt and renew and reinvent in response to challenge and adversity while sustaining business, each successive generation builds on this legacy, adding value through innovation, new ventures and inspiring visions for family and business success. (Paraphrased from D.T. Jaffe)