Family Business Intention: An Interview with Ken McCracken

Ken McCracken joins More at Stake: The Family Business Podcast to discuss the concept of Intention in family business ownership. Intention shapes the way a family interacts with its enterprise and has significant impact on how the family business system operates as a whole. Listen in to learn about this fascinating—and often overlooked—aspect of family enterprises.

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For 20 years, Ken McCracken has worked with family enterprises of all types in various parts of the world. He is recognized as a leader in the field of family business advising.  Ken is the author and teacher of the Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising for the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and he is regularly invited to write for other publications. He is also actively involved in advocacy to improve the overall awareness of the economic and social contribution made by enterprising families, and he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Family Business.

Ken is a Fellow of the Family Firm Institute (FFI) and a past recipient of their Award for Outstanding Interdisciplinary Achievement. In 2015, Ken received the STEP Award for Family Business Advisor of the Year. Ken is a member of the Law Society of Scotland, received his LL.B (Hons) Dip.L.P. from the University of Glasgow, and holds the Family Firm Institute Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising.

Engaged Ownership: A Guide for Owners of Family Businesses | Part IV

Part IV of Engaged Ownership discusses three common situations that can challenge owners' efforts at developing engagement: when the ownership group includes managing and non-managing owners, when an owner is a trustee, and bringing in outside investors.

Each of these situations increases the complexity of ownership decision-making and governance and requires conscious effort by the owners to develop alignment, in order to overcome the challenges.

Engaged Ownership: A Guide for Owners of Family Businesses | Part III

You can listen to the Engaged Ownership audiobook through Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

Part III: Practicing Engaged Ownership

Part III of Engaged Ownership lays out the practice of engaged ownership, and how owners do the work of developing and maintaining engagement. It discusses the purposes and benefits for creating forums for decision making—board of directors, owners council, family assembly—and why each is important for identifying and carrying out the unique goals and responsibilities of owners, board, family, and management. Part III lays out a process for allocating decision-making power among owners, board, and management, and how the nuances of decision-making—agenda setting, the right to be informed, the right to be consulted, veto power, etc—play alongside the power to make the decision.

Once power has been allocated, it is vital to have effective vehicles for decision-making: meetings. The quality of decision making is contingent upon the quality of the meetings that preceded the decision. Part III describes how to plan and implement more effective meetings, and how forums can work together to produce greater results.

Lastly, Part III discusses policies: circumstances that warrant the development of a policy, common policies for family businesses, and how policies can improve decision making over the long term.

Governing the Family Enterprise: An Interview with Dennis Jaffe

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Dennis joins More at Stake: The Family Business Podcast to discuss his latest publication, Governing the Family Enterprise: The Evolution of Family Councils, Assemblies and Constitutions.

Governing the Family Enterprise takes a look at what Dennis calls “generative families,” and how these extraordinary families are able to meet the challenges of the coming generations as they grow and become more complex.

As both an organizational consultant and clinical psychologist, Dennis helps multi-generational families develop governance practices that build the capability of next-generation leadership and ensure the ongoing capability of financial organizations and family offices to serve their family clients.

Dr. Dennis Jaffe is a San Francisco-based advisor to families in family business, governance, wealth, and philanthropy. For over 40 years, Dennis has been one of the leading architects of the field of family enterprise consulting. As both an organizational consultant and clinical psychologist, he helps multi-generational families develop governance practices that build the capability of next-generation leadership, and ensure the ongoing capability of financial organizations and family offices to serve their family clients.

Jaffe’s global insights have led to teaching and consulting engagements in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. In 2005, he received the Beckhard Award for service to the field from the Family Firm Institute. His recent publications include "Releasing the Potential of the Rising Generation and Good Fortune: Building a Hundred Year Family Enterprise" and "Governing the Family Enterprise: The Evolution of Family Councils, Assemblies, and Constitutions", published by Wise Counsel Research. Dr. Jaffe received his BA in Philosophy, MA in Management, and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University, and is Professor Emeritus of Organizational Systems and Psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco.

Engaged Ownership: A Guide for Owners of Family Businesses | Part II

You can listen to the Engaged Ownership audiobook through Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

Part II: Getting Organized

Part II of Engaged Ownership provides a foundation for family business owners seeking to increase engagement. You will learn about the complex relationships among owners, board of directors, management, and family, and how those wearing multiple “hats” can better navigate their responsibilities. You will also learn how family history, legacy, and natural governance affect the culture and environment within the family business system. Perhaps most importantly, Part II teaches the importance of a family’s Core Capital—human capital and enterprise capital, in addition to financial capital—and how it can be put to use both inside and outside the business. With an understanding of Core Capital, listeners will learn how to develop a Shared Purpose, Vision & Mission for their enterprise. Shared Purpose is the glue that binds stakeholders together, and Vision and Mission become the animating drivers for decision making and long-range planning.

Engaged Ownership: A Guide for Owners of Family Businesses | Part I

You can listen to the Engaged Ownership audiobook through Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

Part I | Engaged Ownership: An Introduction

Part I of Amelia Renkert-Thomas critically acclaimed debut, Engaged Ownership: A Guide for Owners of Family Businesses, introduces the concept of engaged ownership—a different paradigm for family business owners and advisors. Engaged family business owners bring a deep understanding of their core capital and vision for the future. Advisors who understand the concepts and process of engaged ownership are better equipped to work effectively with their family business clients.