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Useful articles, tools and other resources for professionals to use with their clients.

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!

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.

Many practitioners who advise family-owned companies employ assessments or surveys to gain a glimpse into what’s occurring in the family business system.

Lanie Jordan, co-chair of The Practitioner Editorial Committee interviews UMass’s Alan Robinson on corporate creativity and innovation. “In organizations with effective idea systems, roughly 80 percent of overall performance improvement comes from front line ideas.”

According to the Financial Times, the award Thinkers50 is the Oscar of the management world. The award follows two simple principles: To promote new ideas whose power is enough to improve the world.

Thanks to Steve Legler for this week’s article –complete with the sample page that facilitates the process he describes. See below for Getting Everybody on the Same Page (By Getting EveryTHING on One Page).

Advisors understand that family businesses are passed down from generation to generation.

Professor Leif Melin, Jönköping International Business School, explains some of the main myths still related to family businesses and why these myths are no longer a reality.

Facilitating more than 120 meetings over seven years with family enterprise members in forum groups has given me a rare and privileged opportunity to see family business myths discussed, challenged, and role-played.

Another contribution from the FFI Fellows, this article by Andrew Hier identifies concrete variables that most impact the functionality of a family enterprise or any sub-part to a family enterprise.

Myth: Family businesses are small businesses run by the seat of their pants. As such, they should do their best to keep that fact hidden, not promote it, and certainly not incorporate it into their brand.

Boris Matijas interviews Ulrich Maybach, Director of Global Strategy for Maybach Icons of Luxury. Maybach discusses the history of alliances and cycles that the firm has had during its more than 150-year family business history.

FBR editor Pramodita Sharma puts the oft quoted 30-13-3 statistic on family enterprise longevity into its historical context and provides new thinking and research on how to understand and plan for generational transitions in family enterprises.

Unless the Kardashian family is one of your clients (and The Practitioner sincerely hopes this isn’t the case), families you serve probably don’t have camera crews following them around 24/7, video-documenting their every move. Don’t worry--I’m not suggesting you set up your clients with reality show deals of their own. But I AM recommending you carefully listen to the sage words preached by Judith Kolva--author of this week’s companion article on encouraging clients to chronicle family histories by interviewing family members about generations past. We’re not talking about doing a cursory, slapdash job, here. We’re talking