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Educating Family Businesses

Educational resources, e.g., university based forums, and other formal tools for professionals to use with clients.

CEO succession to a non-family executive is particularly challenging to a CEO who is a family member. For executive recruiters, “Will the CEO really let go?” is always a concern expressed by those around the incumbent. This week’s edition by Bruce Walton discusses success factors that help consultants prepare their clients to let go as part of a successful leadership transition.

How can family advisors help their clients when they are so enmeshed in conflict that they seem to have erected impenetrable barriers? According to this week’s contributors, Mitzi Perdue and Amy Castoro, advisors can utilize three communication techniques to break down these barriers and address the underlying causes of the conflict. Mitzi and Amy have illustrated these techniques with an instructive case study that can be shared with clients.

This week’s FFI Practitioner features a conversation between Joshua Nacht and Steve Legler on the topic of “family champions” and Joshua’s recently-released book on the subject. Joshua and Steve discuss how to identify and develop a family champion as well as how practitioners can leverage a family champion in their work with family enterprises. We hope you enjoy listening!

Panta rhei. Everything flows and evolves. And family businesses are no exception. From the first-generation founder firm to a real family firm in later generations, and from a single business firm to a complex portfolio business. In some instances, that transition in the family firm – from one to many businesses – happens rather suddenly, in a revolutionary way. Such transformations usually require a few key elements: a natural entrepreneur in the later generations of the family and… a major liquidity event that financially enables the transformation. Marta Widz and

Every Wednesday authors for FFI Practitioner share insights on the field of family enterprise advising and consulting from a variety of vantage points. Today we’d like to invite you to Write for FFI Practitioner! And… as inspiration, we point you toward examples of articles from contributors across the globe and some topics that could use more contributors.

Thanks to Mitzi Perdue for this case study discussing some of the perils involved in misunderstanding core concepts underlying the frequently invoked “chain of command.” It is an instructive article for advisors and a case that could be shared with clients.

What can family enterprises learn from a book titled, Who Moved My Cheese? Thanks to this week’s contributor, Ashvini Chopra, for sharing a case study that applies the book’s lessons about change and adaptability to a recent scenario Ashvini encountered with one of his family business clients.

Family business cases can serve as powerful tools to integrate into consulting and educational work with clients. Cases provide an engaging way for family enterprise members to recognize issues similar to the ones they face, helping evaluate potential, less emotionally-charged solutions. To further this publication’s mission to provide readers with practical materials that support their work with multi-generational family enterprises, we are pleased to feature a selection of family business cases previously published in FFI Practitioner.

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.

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.

Thank you to Patricia Angus of the FFI Practitioner editorial committee for kicking off a month-long series of editions relating to the theme of “Reflections.” In this week’s edition, Patricia reflects on the complexities of defining some key terminology in the field. In upcoming weeks, we’re excited to continue this reflective theme with pieces by Jamie Weiner, Ken Moores, Paul Chung and Chin Chin Koh, and an interview with Dennis Jaffe. We hope you enjoy the series!

This week’s FFI Practitioner continues our series of articles written in both English and Spanish by members of the FFI IberoAmercian Virtual Study Group. Thank you to Ricardo Mejia for sharing this case study about a client who encountered an important governance dilemma – should they focus on developing their corporate governance or family governance first?

When an unexpected disaster strikes, and family members are unaware of a patriarch or matriarch’s end-of-life care wishes, then decisions about how to proceed can create deep-seated and long-lasting conflict that can destroy a family business. This week’s contributors, Mitzi Perdue and Jane Beddall share insights from their experiences and advice about how to address this sensitive subject with your clients.

This week, FFI Practitioner examines the complicated situation occurring when the family enterprise is owned in trust and the trustees simultaneously serve on the Board of Directors. Thank you to Patricia Annino for exploring the numerous issues and conflicts that can arise through the following case study.

For family businesses, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to governance and advisers need to understand each family’s unique values and ownership philosophies before attempting to implement specific governance structures. Thanks to Marta Widz and Benoît Leleux from IMD for illustrating this point by sharing two cases where the family businesses have divergent ownership philosophies but have both excelled in their governance practices.

Whether or not to highlight the involvement of the family in the business’ branding as a means of differentiating the business from its competition, is a question that confronts many family-owned businesses. In this week’s FFI Practitioner, Isabel Botero and Tomasz Fediuk explore both sides of this issue and share three central aspects of family business branding.

This week, FFI Practitioner addresses estate planning, a topic of perennial importance in the field of family enterprise. Thank you to Ashvini Chopra of Bennett Coleman, for sharing a valuable lesson learned through a case study.

Thanks to Nick Moody of Campden Wealth for this week’s article on Hidden Champions, in which he provides examples of typical family business enterprises that drive the world’s economies, but are not household names. And…he offers readers an opportunity to expand public awareness of the impact of these family businesses worldwide.

When confronted with the need to go outside the family company for new leadership, most families have no idea what that process entails and how to go about it. This case study will help advisers guide clients wrestling with such an issue and recognize the value of resources available to help. Thanks to Bruce Walton of Battalia Winston for the article and case study.

This week’s FFI Practitioner Edition by Michael Madera categorizes the mindset of many family firms in the midst of transition into “Hold, Mix, and Shift.”