The pandemic has disrupted just about everything routine: work, school, family vacation plans, business travel, worship, community and family gatherings, and more. It has caused all of us to take a pause to assess the risks of our routines over the rewards of normalcy. As COVID cases around the globe continue to grow, there are some new routines that might help your family weather the pandemic. Consider this a good time to focus on a new routine around family wealth education. To follow are a few tips that you may find helpful.

1. Reprioritize Learning Objectives. The pandemic forced families and their advisors to reevaluate their learning objectives. Applying the SMART technique to ascertain how your learning approach will work under pandemic-conditions is important:

  • S-Specific. Identify the specific goals you are attempting to achieve when it comes to your education program. Define these goals, provide the steps and process to achieve these goals and the intended outcomes.
  • M-Measurable. Understand how to account for the achievement of each learning goal based on specific deliverables, behavioral changes and/or other evidence of a learning goal being accomplished. Measuring the progress being made is critical.
  • A-Attainable. Make sure the learning objective is achievable during the Pandemic. Some learning goals, such as scaled learning during a family meeting, or a work internship, may fail if they been postponed or canceled.
  • R- Realistic. Under our new pandemic norm, it may not be realistic to have learning objectives that require travel. For example, if on-the-job type work experiences are key to someone’s learning plan, it may not be feasible to have an in-person internship or the mentoring that they need.
  • T- Timely. Much has shifted to what is timely. Emergency funds are timely, re-evaluating spending, lifestyle and/or travel and vacation strategies are timely. Learning objectives that incorporate the influence and importance that the pandemic plays in all functional areas of wealth is germane.

2. Manage Zoom Fatigue – There is no question that humans are fatigued by screen saturation. We spend so much of our work, social, and education interactions now through Zoom or other video conference capabilities. Managing and limiting the time the education program relies on these types of interactions will make the family extremely happy and more productive.

3. Lean into the Solitude – The pandemic has forced all of us to reexamine our introverted side. Learning that is virtual, self-paced and perhaps individually led or achieved may be easier than orchestrating cohorts. Consider the options that virtual learning, self-study, and/or individual projects may present.

4. Bridge the Family Technology Divide – Digital natives are easily picking up the new education technology platforms that provide access to information, socialization, and learning. Yet, digital immigrants may not be feeling so empowered by the online nature of communication, interaction, exchange, and decision-making. Thus, digital natives are in an excellent spot to mentor their elders on acclimating to these Pandemic-friendly platforms.

5. Adopt an Integrated Education Approach – Approaches to family wealth education were challenging enough before the Pandemic, typically driven by single-focused educational programs, lengthy on-site programs, and logistically complex custom family cohort education. An awareness that an education program that addresses all the goals of a learner is the first step in creating an integrated plan that meets the specific needs of each person. Utilizing virtual, mentoring, on-the-job, experiential learning, and traditional education through professional organizations, universities and institutions can create a robust learning track.

At Tamarind Learning, we have been thinking a lot about how family wealth education has been impacted by factors such as the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We see a bright future for ways in which beneficiaries will be able to prepare for the responsible stewardship of their family’s wealth. To learn more, visit us at Tamarind Learning or contact Dr. Kirby Rosplock at Kirby@TamarindPartners.com.