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Thanks to Chris Casey for sharing his thoughts on what success means in family firms and some of the difficulties he encountered as he worked on his dissertation “Defining success in family firms using configurational fit: A quantitative study of family-owned construction firms” from Capella University.


This week’s FFI Practitioner addresses an often overlooked, but critical phase of the consulting process – contracting. Thank you to Judi Cunningham and Wendy Sage-Hayward for sharing this article that highlights the importance of contracting as an ongoing process, rather than a one-time discussion, and describes two levels of contracting that appear within an engagement.

In many parts of the world, October 31 is Halloween, so we couldn’t resist featuring some topics that might seem scary to approach with your clients. In the spirit of Halloween, here are some spooky editions.

When family business owners are evaluating non-family ownership succession options, often their advisers may suggest two primary options; selling the business to a “strategic buyer” or a “financial buyer.” However, this week’s edition presents an alternative option – selling the business to the employees, a “friendly buyer,” through an ESOP. Thank you to this week’s contributor, Dan Bayston, for sharing his analysis of ESOPs and the role they can play in a non-family ownership succession plan.

Thank you to this week’s contributor, Tom Hubler, for reflecting on his more than thirty-five years as a family business consultant and sharing some valuable insights he’s gained during that time. We hope you enjoy reading about Tom’s experience and learning about what he refers to as the “soul” of family businesses.

As an adviser, what can you do when the owner/CEO who hires you is wrong? According to Bruce Walton in this week’s edition, an objective board of directors can serve as a valuable ally to confront a misguided CEO and to get the company moving in the right direction. To illustrate his point, Bruce shares some anecdotes of how a board can help in these tricky situations.

For this week’s edition, we are excited to share an interview between Russ Haworth, host of the Family Business Podcast, and Kim Eddleston and Roland Kidwell about their presentation at the upcoming FFI Global Conference. Their presentation is titled “The Diversity of Deviance: How breaking the rules can hurt (and help) families and family firms,” which will address the different types and outcomes of deviance as well as covering how to use deviance in the family and family firm to improve performance.

One of the primary goals of FFI Practitioner is to provide readers with thought-provoking and practical articles to improve the services they offer to their family enterprise clients and the field in general. To further this mission, this week, we are pleased to feature a selection of articles addressing common topics, across disciplines, that can be used as examples or conversation starters with clients.

In a rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive environment, is the need for an Entrepreneurial Orientation critical to ensuring the long-term survival of family firms? In this week’s edition, which is a précis of “Entrepreneurial Orientation and the Family Firm: Mapping the Field and Tracing a Path for Future Research,” an article appearing in the September issue of FBR, Maya Prabhu explores this question and the important implications of this research on the field.

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