The Conversation before the Conversation

Picture where you, your family and business are headed.

Are you having the right conversations about the future of your family business? 

Can you and your family see the path ahead to a brighter business future?

Healthy conversations are important for every family business. They are also vital in the lead up to significant changes within the family business, for example, introducing new leadership, a change in strategic direction or getting ready for succession planning.

The Conversation before the Conversation is a facilitated and creative workshop to kick start these types of important conversations in a family business before the more formal conversations, processes and procedures begin with official advisors. Starting conversations early on can help save on time, emotions and costs later on. 

During a pragmatic and creative one day workshop, we help family businesses understand their intended purpose by:

  • Helping family members create a shared vision;
  • Clarifying individual roles and aspirations; and
  • Defining clearer steps to create that future.

Watch our video scribe animation to learn more about the what and why of this service and how it can help you:

What do clients get out of the workshop experience?

At the end of the facilitated workshop, you will have:

  • Clarity and alignment with your family about the family’s relationship to the business
  • A clear 20 year vision based on your shared purpose and values
  • Specific 5, 10 and 20 year strategic goals that align to your vision

There’s also a creative twist that delivers you extra value. After the workshop, all of these outcomes are captured in a unique one page illustration that you can use to engage other key people and stakeholders in creating your future. The illustration is a useful tool to reflect on what was agreed and helps speed up understanding and alignment around your vision with the people that matter most.  Here’s an example of a one page illustration for a family farming business – all the outcomes captured in a simple but eye-catching visual summary:

Your workshop will result in a unique cb4c one page illustration, with all the outcomes from your workshop experience captured in a simple but eye-catching visual summary.

The final illustration is delivered to you as a JPEG or PDF file. From past experience, clients have used their summary illustration in various ways, as follows:

  • As large-scale artwork on the office wall as a daily reminder to family and internal team members of the path ahead
  • In presentations to official advisors to get them up to speed on where the family business is headed and why
  • As a collaboration tool to spark conversations with other family members (young and old) who need to be brought into the family business planning conversation
  • In reports, documents and internal business stationery and materials (e.g. note pads, coffee mugs and mouse mats etc)
The Final Cb4c Illustration: delivered to you as a jpeg or pdf file

Our team and how we work

The Conversation before the Conversation service is a collaboration between leadership consultant and facilitator, Lee Williams, and business illustrator, Guy Downes.

During the workshop, Lee facilitates the important family dialogue while Guy visually captures the key ideas and essence of what is being said. Using all the outcomes and learnings from the workshop, Guy also creates the one page summary illustration after the event.

Lee Williams: your facilitator

Lee Williams: your facilitator

Lee is a specialist in leadership development, culture change and executive coaching with substantial experience working with senior leadership teams.

Lee has worked with family-owned business during critical times of transition to facilitate effective dialogue that creates clarity and aligns the family so that the business operates in service of the family and not the other way around.

Lee has also facilitated leadership programs for thousands of senior and mid-level leaders in 21 countries across all continents. Many of these have been for leaders operating in very challenging environments such as conflict zones and major emergency relief operations. As a result, Lee has developed a pragmatic and highly effective approach to helping people translate leadership theory into relevant practices on the ground that have a real impact on results.

M: 0424 342 686


  • Neuroscience of Leadership, Post Graduate Certificate – University of Middlesex
  • Mathematics with Management, BSc. (Hons) – University of Liverpool 

Accreditations/ Diagnostic Tools used:

  • The Leadership Circle 360 Profile and Culture Survey
  • Lifestyle Style Inventory (LSI) 360 
  • Choices 
  • The Leadership Practices Inventory 360 (LPI) 
  • DiSC – measures behavioural preferences

Guy Downes: your illustrator

Guy Downes is an illustrator who helps individuals and organisations connect with the audiences that matter to them using a range of techniques such as graphic recording, illustration, journey maps and video scribe animations.

With many people’s preference being for visual learning, Guy’s illustration, visual and communications expertise helps capture attention, quickens understanding and helps drive alignment and engagement.

Guy’s skill set is used across all industries in change, communications, leadership, performance, ideation and strategy settings. Based in regional NSW, Guy works with clients in Australia and overseas.

M: 0438 819 924

Guy Downs: your cb4c illustrator


  • Prior to Guy setting up his own business illustration practice 13 years ago, he worked for a decade for leading public relations agencies (notably Weber Shandwick and Ogilvy PR) in London and Sydney.
  • As an illustrator, Guy has worked with clients including ABC, CBA, Coles, Elders, Deloitte, CSIRO, Rabobank, Sydney Metro and SBS among others.
  • Guy holds a B.A. (Hons) in French, Italian and European Studies – University of Bath
  • Guy also speaks working Dutch.

Contact Us

Get in touch with Lee & Guy, the team behind your next healthy conversation

Disclaimer: Lee and Guy are not accountants, financial planners, solicitors or business advisors. Any information in the animation, during the workshop and on this website is general only. If you require financial, legal or other expert advice you should seek assistance from a professional advisor.