Safe Space: Governance in Action


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Franco Lombardo | Roper House Publishing | 2017 Safe Space: Governance in Action

Francesco Lombardo believes that fundamentally, we all want to feel safe—within ourselves, with our families and in our relationships with others, our environment and, ultimately, with our wealth. Safe Space: Governance in Action, is a thought-provoking perspective on how vital it is to create Safe Space for each individual within the dynamic arena of a “family of wealth.”

Feeling safe is a prerequisite to good and fair behaviour, good and fair decisions, and good and fair management and leadership and, ultimately, good and fair governance. It is also the best way to safeguard your financial wealth and facilitate succession planning, wealth transition, wealth development continuity, and the responsible further development of leadership, management, and governance competencies in members of the next generation.

With Safe Space: Governance in Action, Lombardo points a spotlight on the all-too-often overlooked issue of individual behavioural risk and shows how it can so easily undermine both the Human and Social Capital components of Family Wealth to such a degree that it represents the greatest area of weakness and unmanaged risk in any family office or business enterprise.

To ignore your own Human and Social Capital is to place your Financial Capital at significant risk. This book may well prove to be your greatest risk management asset in the service of maintaining your family’s legacy, not just for the next generation but in perpetuity.

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Book Reviews

“Franco has discovered that traditional governance structures in family businesses often fail because of the poor behavior of individuals in the organization. This book is a valuable guide for understanding the importance of individual governance and provides tools for improving mindfulness over our own behavior.”

-Mike Mitchell – Executive Director, The High Center, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA

“Francesco is an expert on family dynamics. He is a charismatic coach who connects with and engages all members of the family. Francesco’s work in this arena is the culmination of many years of experience working with a diverse population of business families and individuals of all ages. His coaching style and study materials allow families to clearly understand and relate to the many challenges that business families have to work through in twenty-first century society.

Safe Space is a must-read if you want to invest in the future health of your family and its financial assets.”

– Tony Canci – CEO, Canci Group Holdings Property Ltd, Perth, Western Australia

“Isn’t the ultimate quest, for many of us in entrepreneurial families, to find our Safe Space? Lombardo clearly uncovers how accepting our fragilities and being mindful of the real Self that makes us unique is what will help build our legacy.  Francesco helps us rediscover the ‘Little Chef,’ asleep in most of us, with common sense and humility. ‘All grown-ups were once children but only few of them remember it,’ said Antoine de Saint-Exupery.”

-Olivier de Richoufftz de Manin – President, Business Families Foundation, Montreal, PQ

“What I found so powerful in this book was its emphasis on the impact of individual behaviour within a family system or business. Franco uses well-chosen family cases and his own, sometimes difficult, personal experience to provide the reader with many new ideas on how we can change our default responses and contribute more positively within our families.”

 -Ian Partridge – Chairman, Loedstar S.A., Geneva, Switzerland

“If I dared to imagine my family flourishing and overcoming the proverbial ‘shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations,’ I expect it would be in large part because we have used many of the tools in this book.

Francesco Lombardo clearly understands the challenges presented by the proverb and the sort of behaviours that family members often exhibit. Lombardo provides insight into these default behaviours and, in particular, the “emotional” side of money that drives poor decisions related to the stewardship of wealth. More importantly, this book provides guidance on how to develop the necessary safe environments for family members to adjust their conduct and get on the right path towards sustaining the legacy.”

-Paul Bennett – Executive Director, AMB Holdings, Perth, Western Australia

“This is a brilliant book packed with the most important insights and strategies for anyone involved in the world of family business. The wise content of this book will challenge the status quo and, as such, it’s only for those who are committed to growing the quality of their business and their family. As Francesco states: ‘the most valuable asset in a family business is the human capital.’ This book contains the keys to capitalizing on that investment. Francesco offers definitive proof of what is possible when proper investment is made in human capital and takes us on an open and completely vulnerable journey where he leaves nothing that you need hidden.

This is a must-read for business families and their advisors. After reading Safe Space, you should be far more successful in avoiding the difficult issues that only prevent our achievement of that which we all desire most—Safe Space. It takes courage and commitment to a higher purpose to embark on the journey towards Safe Space. Francesco and his outstanding work with an international client base are living proof of what is possible.”

-Dov Baron – International Business Consultant, Leadership Advisor, Author, Vancouver, BC

“In this, his fifth book, which is another delightfully frank and honest account, Francesco raises the all-important issue of governance, a much debated topic around the world. What makes this a different take on governance is the link Francesco makes between corporate and family governance and the concept of personal governance and our need for a space that feels safe.

The need and search for Safe Space is something that can present every single one of us with a challenge. However, where family and business converge, this will naturally add layers of complexity. We see this in our work at the Institute for Family Business, and part of our reason for being is to help people create just that for themselves. Through well-placed questions throughout the book, Francesco helps people work through the layers of perception that surround the search for our Safe Space, which is often found where we are least inclined to look. It is a journey well worth embarking upon for us all.”

-Elizabeth Bagger – Executive Director, Institute for Family Business, London, UK

“In this, his latest book, Franco brings it all together, summing up what he has written about in his four previous books and emphasizing the importance of Safe Space. He encourages us to be curious of our actions, ask why, and dig a little deeper. He ends every chapter with questions and has quotes throughout that encourage self-reflection.

If you are in true search of your own Safe Space, Franco masterfully provides all the tools to find it. Through his candid stories and openness in sharing some of his own lessons learned, his words becomes the inner voice to help every reader find their Safe Space. Don’t we all want to feel safe enough to remove our masks and allow others to see and hear us as we really are—our most authentic selves?”

-Danielle Saputo – President, Danuto Holdings, Peterborough, ON

Additional information

Hardcover or Digital?

Digital, Hardcover