Strengthen your family business with these exec-ed programmes

SOURCE: Robyn Beck / AFP
TV show, Dynasty, was transformed from 80s soap opera to new age drama. In both versions, the show follows the Carrington family as they navigate the trials and tribulations of running a family business.

By Shekinah Kannan 

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All businesses face challenges such as increased competition, internal conflicts, to the demands that come with a fast-changing economy. A family business faces these problems, in addition to unique challenges that other companies might not face.

These include family issues that affect daily operations, structure and governance, a lack of succession planning, to ownership issues between contributing and non-contributing family members.

Popular TV shows such as Dynasty, Empire, or even Bob’s Burgers have highlighted some of the complications faced by families. History is also abound with examples of how a badly managed family business can be burned to the ground.

Steinberg, a thriving Canadian grocery chain in the 1950s and 60s, lost its lustre after Sam Steinberg’s death, which — according to reports — led to a power struggle within his family and contributed to its decline.

Gucci — one of the world’s most popular luxury brand — wasn’t without controversial with its family feuds.

After the death of Gucci’s founder, Guccio Gucci, in 1953, his eldest son, Aldo, took control of the business and brought it to new heights of success. Things went downhill when the third generation of the family took the reigns.

Aldo’s son, Paolo, and nephew, Maurizio, contributed to the company’s decline. Paolo overspent on a disastrous fashion line and was exiled from the business. Maurizio’s leadership led to Gucci’s negative net worth of 17.3 million US dollars by 1991. He was forced out of the business by Investcorp.

Poor succession planning and generational differences are just some of the reasons why these problems occur. To navigate these challenges, business leaders need the right training to make effective decisions for both their business and their families.

Executive education courses, however, can offer some respite.

Exec-ed courses are graduate-level education that can be helpful for those who want something more targeted for their professional development.

Here are some programmes that can help you manage your family business: 

Future Family Enterprise: Sustaining Multigenerational Success

This six-day programme by MIT Management Executive Education was designed for multigenerational families looking to understand and implement the important driving factors of long-term, enduring, family enterprise success. 

Catering to a team of four (or more at an additional cost), classes explore the opportunities, challenges and future trends for owning, governing, and managing a family company. It is encouraged that families attend in teams spanning two or more generations.

Global Family Business Management

This programme by IE University teaches participants to learn, identify, and harness opportunities to expand their family business. It also sets out to ensure families remain resilient in a challenging commercial landscape. 

By choosing this globally-recognised programme, leaders will be able to learn from leading experts and top global managers with decades of experience. They will also be able to network with countless professionals and industry leaders. 

Family Office Wealth Management

Offered by Harvard Business School, this virtual programme provides learners with an in-depth understanding of the best practices in family wealth management. It also explores the governance, structure, and investment challenges that are unique to family-run businesses. It then helps participants discover new approaches for managing and preserving family wealth. 

The programme includes live online classes, self-paced work, discussion groups, case studies, faculty presentations and heaps of virtual networking. It takes place over three weeks.