Who watched the May 19 Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now known as “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex”?1
The writer of this piece will admit publicly he did. (More than once, OK? Please do not judge…)
Watching that event provided some one stark example which can — and should — be adopted and implemented by Florida businesses. Immediately.
If one listened to the reporters carefully (on cable TV, http://www.bbc.com/, and http://www.pbs.org/ …again, please do not judge — each presentation offered details, and this article is about details), it was obvious that the entirety of the day was consciously timed. Which, of course, is a function of planning. Which, in itself, is a sub-function of proactive risk management. Everything involving the wedding transpired according to precise ‘clockwork’. To the minute, apparently.
Please pardon the following double-negative, not that there were not situations which had to be adjusted ‘on the fly’. People, animals (a lot of horses 2), and global technology was involved. The viewers just did not see any ‘glitches’. Which meant that the planners anticipated and further planned for those potent eventualities. 3
What can Florida businesses learn from all of this? That carefully (and realistically) constituted plans across their full scope of activities, then addressed in spreadsheets, and then actually implemented (with built-in accommodations for flexibility) work, and should be used for both short- and long-term business operations. If a business devotes sufficient and meaningful time and effort to this planning exercise — and then, again, actually implements the work-product from that exercise — it can expend less of those human, material, and capital resources to remedying the ‘unknowns’ and can devote more of the same to its core business. Certainly a worthwhile “ROI” function.
A very useful book, which has profoundly influenced this writer, is The Checklist Manifesto – How to Get Things Right by Dr. Atul Gawande (http://atulgawande.com/book/the-checklist-manifesto/). 4 That book was a one-day read, and well worth going through more than once. Time now for a pivot to a different, yet tangential topic following upon the past weekend’s royal wedding. This writer is a transactional lawyer (business, real estate, banking, and — as noted — equine industry). A wedding between two people with substantial assets often employ prenuptial agreements to proactively risk manage the outcomes in the unfortunate event the marriage does not endure. (A ‘prenup’ was not entered between Prince Harry and the ‘former’ Meghan Markle, largely due to the nature of the monarchy’s asset ownership structure — meaning much of the valuable property is vested in the Queen in trust for the country. See http://www.businessinsider.com/prince-harry-meghan-markle-prenup-2018-3.)
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Who Watched the May 19 Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now known as “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex”?
The ‘take-away’ from a personal ‘prenup’ concept is that a similar device can be employed for business entities in-formation when more than one owner is to be involved. The constituting documents for corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships can have a variety of ‘buy/sell’ arrangements included which predetermine the substance and process for a business divorce should one ever be necessary. Those arrangements can be as simple or complex as required by the circumstances, depending upon such factors as the relative wealth and start-up contributions of the founders and those parties’ long-term estate planning needs. And they can help to avoid, or perhaps to streamline, litigation-oriented dissolution proceedings.
So, then, pivot back to the beginning of this piece. Business ‘prenups’ can allow the owners of a company to devote themselves towards their enterprise’s core business and away from worries about what can happen if the owners find they do not gel over time. Let us, then, wish the royal newlyweds a happy life together! And to do likewise for newly forming Florida businesses.
2 As noted below, and from prior articles in this series, this writer is involved in the equine community, and has observed the vicissitudes of horses. Including our family’s horse Royale Highland (his barn name is Theo).
3 One example actually involved the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, when a horse in the processing threw the rider and ran free. See https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/royal-wedding/8483481/Royal-wedding-procession-rider-thrown-from-horse.html. (Interestingly, the thrown rider composed himself and took a place at full attention among the ceremonial soldiers while the carriage passed. That is the unknown human element in action trying to address a problem as it occurs.)
4 By way of full disclosure, this writer includes that book as a recommended reading for his University of Florida Warrington College of Business graduate and undergraduate and Levin College of Law courses. (And, no, this author has not met, does not know, and has no relation to Dr. Gawande…unless ‘liking’ his Facebook page counts.)
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