Investigating Family Lineage

Unless the Kardashian family is one of your clients (and The Practitioner sincerely hopes this isn’t the case), families you serve probably don’t have camera crews following them around 24/7, video-documenting their every move.

Don’t worry–I’m not suggesting you set up your clients with reality show deals of their own. But I AM recommending you carefully listen to the sage words preached by Judith Kolva–author of this week’s companion article on encouraging clients to chronicle family histories by interviewing family members about generations past.

We’re not talking about doing a cursory, slapdash job, here. We’re talking about clients putting their creative mind through the paces, clocking in the hours, and doing this the right way. Whether this results in a well-written book, a carefully-edited video, or a sophisticated multi-media presentation that cobbles together news articles with photographs, all of these recordkeeping methodologies have one thing in common. No—it’s not that they’re all labor-intensive pains in the neck. Well it’s not only that. More importantly, such investigative efforts tend to lead family members down paths of contemplation, where they begin to truly consider the origins of their family enterprises for the first time. This often gives way to a heightened sense of awe and admiration for those who came before.

Poetic, but is it important? According to studies, those who appreciate the sources of their good fortune tend to more carefully preserve their wealth while making smarter business decisions moving forward. Of course, the pain-in-the-neck component is a viable concern for many. Thankfully, Kolva offers realistic advice on how to overcome these difficulties and plow through the procrastination factor that often sidelines these projects. It’s well worth it, because in the end, families get to enjoy a shiny new keepsake that may be prized by generations to come. And in my book, that beats a reality show, any day.

Read Judith Kolva’s full article here .

About the Contributor
Dr. Judith Kolva is a personal historian, with a Ph.D. in the psychology and practice of preserving life stories. Her seminal doctoral research investigated the relationship between telling life stories and identifying meaning in life. She is the founder and CEO of Memoir Shoppe, an international organization that preserves and protects the stories of exceptional families. Please contact Judith at [email protected].


Be sure to look for The Practitioner: Wednesday Edition next week in your email or online, when we feature our very first guest blogger, Andrew Keyt, Executive Director of Loyola University Chicago Family Business Center and President, Family Business Network USA who will discuss grooming next-generation leaders for smoother business succession.

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Yours in Practice,

The Practitioner