It all starts with your family legacy. Your stories, thinking patterns, what you stand for or wish to innovate. All these hold their foundations in your family legacy.
Family Chronicle Galaxies & Rainy Recollections
In the world of a multigenerational business and legacy families, all stories are in an intertwined and perpetual flux with each family member clicking through thousands of layered puzzle pieces that are fidgeting within their world, spanning through different cultures, environments, and generations.
Thousands of tales are happening in close or distant successions, and break out into new ones even mid-sentence. It’s a continuation of lineages, dynamic memory recollections, evolving family identities, and thematical individual and collective cataloguing. Certain historical events or business milestones may fit into a time-line, however, these connected accounts and colourful characteristics can’t be arranged in a chronological order. Each timeline of accomplishments needs tracking, however, due to their complex nature, legacies are not traceable, only mappable. Everything is fragmented in the family cosmos and the task is to purposefully decrease fragmentation, map, understand, learn from, and connect relevance points that engage and inspire everyone within the family, and beyond, for generations to come.
All family truths hold a coherence of ideas, and coherence systems are composed of quantitative and qualitative multiplicities.
Family members hold stories within stories and these can be mapped, understood, interpreted, and reordered in different ways by everyone within the family. Memories are not static images but ever-changing interpretations, re-interpretations, and recalibrations of past events holding different meaning for everyone. Any rupture point can destabilise the framework that is the result of a series of co-creation and co-composition processes of your ancestors.
How can a multigenerational business family decompress, map, understand, and interpret their complex marbling, as well as embrace all its moving parts? In addition, to understand what the clinging and adhering properties between these are, and how families can separate or fuse the different narrative points and thematic zones of contact to offer a solid re(-)presentation from which their family members can learn, families require a bespoke transformational legacy curation.
Multigenerational storylines and family members’ understanding, evaluation, and conciliation of their complex and multi-layered legacy and impact expand by the virtue of opening up the various connection points.
As families grow, they embrace, understand, and discuss their multiplicitous identities. These different qualities resolve themselves in various intensities, and magnitudes, and may even unveil unexpected revelations. Consequently, families can re-energise their narratives, recalibrate current structures, and form new ones depending on how the present landscape of their different capitals and the revived narrative terrain dictate the enhanced capabilities and capacities of their newly shaping environment.
Therefore, it is critical for families to study and understand their origins, semantic network, the evolution of their multi(-)verse, realign on what they hold important, and drive impact purposefully on many levels. It’s about families looking into and engineering their future whilst understanding, reconnecting with, and learning from their past, and building their own legacy and impact upon these in a purposeful way.
A Zeal For Legacies
Transformational legacy curations also offer a foundational understanding of your roots and where you are on your complex legacy journey. This is especially critical prior to and in the midst of a succession, as with a generational transition, it’s not only the business, your family values, and historical details that you pass on to the next generation.
To ensure a successful succession, all your different capitals, as well as your collective family intelligence needs to be transferred; it’s a transfer of knowledge, networks, and your family legacy.
Bespoke family legacy curation projects offer a solid social, cultural, family, talent, and historical effective consciousness to families to reconnect with their past, future-proof, and drive their future activities. Such projects also expand family members’ horizon of their thoughts, domain of experiences, and connect their individual horizon with the overall collective family horizon to strengthen and safeguard their family ties, inspire and engage with each other, without proposing to overidentify only with the group identity. The common sense within the family is created by the family, it is a fusion of the family members’ understanding horizons.
The multitudinous world of multigenerational family legacies is filled with wonders; invaluable, one-of-a-kind educational, family engagement, and inspirational resources that both foreground family members’ experience with their legacy materials and serve as anchoring tools for the wider family. You have unique personal access to your family’s legacy objects and other curiosities that relate to the inner and outer works of your family. This access may lead you to find comfort and better orientate yourself within and beyond your family. It’s inviting you to serendipitously or intentionally look for pieces, connection points waiting to be discovered, rediscovered (for example, family legacy curations are also powerful ways to celebrate any major milestones or anniversaries that your family wishes to commemorate.)
Your family legacy offers unlimited inspiration through relevance points, and portrays a sense of continuity from your ancestors to you, and your next generation. Family legacies constitute the cornerstone of each longstanding and thriving enterprising family. How well you and your family members double-down on your legacy, and how purposefully you leverage it, will shape the trajectory of your future, determining also your legacy’s longevity. We all seek resonance and relevance points, we thrive via relating to stories, characters, and connecting dots of our past and present, and create our future accordingly.
Whilst we read chronicles, we turn to footnotes, indexes, or the foreword to gain further insights on specific aspects connected to the storylines, characters, and the different narrative inserts. The same relevance-seeking and connection-finding happens also with your family legacy. Whenever you hold a connection with a story, family character, or event, there is a point of reference, otherwise, you may only rely on the absence of evidence and will be witnessing over the generations how your family legacy may gradually evaporate.
Close encounters with your family legacy help you imagine, design, further shape, create your own legacy marks, enrich the family legacy, and continue your joint and individual legacy journey. You can also re-evaluate, re-frame, and articulate your narratives and drive better-informed decisions. Consequently, you can engage, inspire your family and community for generations to come by animating your heritage and family legacy.
Become a Connoisseur Of Your Family Legacy
You are invited to become a connoisseur, a conscious co-guardian and custodian of your family legacy, finding out more, and inspiring others via your family’s and your own legacy. It’s about transcending past to the future, re-inhabitation of family legacies, and re-enchantment with family legacies. You can surround yourself with your ancestors and decrease the distance that you hold with them by pondering on and receiving points of reference on their decisions, how they lived their contextual settings and background. These exercises instantly take you back to the past and bring out memories from your own life, and resonance points to which you can relate.
A participatory design in bespoke legacy curations is indispensable, as you and your family members hold the meaning, resonance, and relevance points to your family narratives, different family characters, and events. You can then continue shaping and transforming your heritage and family legacy, articulating your legacy, and bringing it closer to everyone to benefit from. Some families create tangible foundations, some tackle their collective intelligence via stories, some do both in periodically reconstituting their world, retaining and synthesising the previous chapters of their past.
Whether you would wish to keep most of your family legacy stories for your family members or are keen to share a few aspects with your community for their delight and further engagement, and appreciation, it’s your decision. Some of the materials could even complement your PR activities. Submerging into your family legacy may feel as a retreat not only for you and your family members. Your community members are also keen to understand and appreciate to learn more about your family, praise, and appraise your and your ancestors’ achievements and any background information behind these, which may further instil the pride and belonging that they hold for your family and legacy.
Synthesising the chapters of your family’s past as well as adding your legacy marks, continuing and transforming your family traditions, and giving them current relevance to everyone is a meaningful series of endeavour that propels your family and community to new heights when it comes to engagement, alignment, and inspiration for generations to come.
About the Author - Zita Nikoletta Verbényi is the Founder and Legacy Aesthete at The Legacy Atelier, and the 1st PhD Candidate in Family Legacies.