The Family ROI Experience – {Book Review}

The Family ROI Experience takes basic business principals and applies them to every day family living…who would have thought?  Barbara Fagan-Smith and Lesli Gee came up with this amazing step-by-step guide to realizing your best family!  I am a business owner, a multiple business owner as well as a mom and wife.  I could relate to a lot of the book and I thought to myself, now why didn’t I think of this?  Here I am running business after business and I have always struggled to find a balance between work and family.  In every business, you start out with an idea, then a goal, then a plan to reach your goal, and so on.  The same applies to family situations.  You are faced with one situation, then you need to figure out what the family goal is…then, work on a plan to achieve that goal.

With The Family ROI Experience, it gives you a four week plan and a way to strategically come together as a family unit and increase your ROI.  For those that don’t know, ROI stands for Return On Investment.  In business, it is very helpful to know what your ROI is so you know what is working and what isn’t.  Same for your family.  You need to know what is working and what isn’t, right?

The four week plan comes in the form of a “journey map” taking each member on a journey to find strength, love, acceptance, and family commitment.   This “journey map” has four stops it focuses on and is color coded for ease.  Those stops consist of Communication, Culture, Mission, and Practices.

  • Communication will allow families to make requests instead of demands (something children can often do when they want something…and parents can do when they want something done), making sure the communication process inspires compassion, connection and something that is often lacking, mutual respect between family members.  It also allows your family to agree upon communication tools that are beneficial to all family members.
  • Culture is who we are.  We will define shared values as a family, allow for creating family traditions and enhancing existing ones as well as  come together to create a symbol to represent the uniqueness of the family unit.
  • Mission allows us to define our purpose, what we want to get out of our family experience and helps to create an action plan on achieving our family vision.
  • Practices is how we plan to live our day to day experiences with one another and how we can appreciate each other.

The Family ROI Experience is a step-by-step guide, but it is also a workbook which makes each chapter or week easier to understand.  Your family is given exercises that can be used on a daily basis that will help guide each person to receiving the results they need, to answer their questions, or help solve their current situation. Communication in our family circle is often the one thing that is confused.  With mom and dad, teen-aged daughter, tween son and little girl who knows it all…you can imagine all the different languages that are spoken in our household.  With week one, you are given four steps that once completed, the entire family will be speaking the same language.  Week one was my favorite week…though I did enjoy the entire process and the kids enjoyed the exercises, especially the vision board (as described in week 3).

Overall, I do believe that this book as created a great experience for all of us.  It has shown us things in each other than we didn’t “see” before.  We have a greater understanding for one another and can appreciate each others feelings more consistently.  When in doubt, we pull out The Family ROI Experience book and touch up on areas that need touching up.  It’s a great book to getting your family back on track.


Barbara Fagan-Smith and Lesli Gee both hold executive positions at ROI Communication, a management consulting firm in San Francisco that challenges business leaders to better articulate their vision, improve corporate communication, and shape lasting company culture. In 2011, ROI Communication was named one of the “Top Businesses in America” by and has been recognized as one of the top 25 women-owned businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past five years. Working Mother named it one of the country’s “Best Small Companies” in 2007.

Fagan-Smith is the CEO of ROI Communication and on the executive board of the International Association of Business Communicators. The San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal named her one of Silicon Valley’s 100 Most Influential Women in 2011. In 2008, Fagan-Smith was selected as a winner of the Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, an annual tribute to North America’s top women entrepreneurs. She’s married with two children.

Gee is a senior vice president at ROI Communication, where she has designed and facilitated change and communication strategies for managers and employees around the world. She is married with three children.

The Family ROI Experience is available at For more information, visit


One thought on “The Family ROI Experience – {Book Review}

Comments are closed.