Summit theme


What’s next ?

How enterprising families can make a difference

In asking “What’s next?” the Summit will touch on new frontiers for family businesses, expansions from the legacy business into new business ventures, family offices, foundations, and other initiatives that encourage the renewal of companies, family relationships and values, and ways to involve and inspire the next generation.

The focus on “enterprising families” brings in the idea of family entrepreneurship, along with continuous improvement and renewal.

Beyond that, the Summit will explore the appeal, enthusiasm and joy that family businesses can bring to family members, employees and whole communities. Brazilians’ famous ability to work hard while enjoying life has brought the country through the recent economic downturn much better than most.

Summit keynotes & best practice case studies cover what’s next for successful enterprising families in:

Family enterprise governance:

How are successful enterprises organizing family members to strengthen growth and sustainability, and structuring processes and policies that keep family values and legacy alive?

As families and their businesses grow, a comprehensive governance system that is tailored for a family’s unique characteristics becomes more and more critical, not just for the successful management of business activities but also to coordinate the various resources controlled by the family – human, financial, and organizational.

Enterprising families can also make a difference beyond the stakeholders in their businesses through philanthropic activities and organizations such as family offices. These help family members maintain their wealth and create their legacy while sharing the benefits with other members of society – in other words, managing the broader family enterprise.

In line with the Summit theme, the breakout sessions and case studies in this stream will explore new frontiers for family enterprise governance. Examples of take-aways include:

- How family businesses have broadened into family enterprises with governance structures for a family office and family foundation in addition to a business
-The benefits and issues involved in combining parts of a family enterprise, and even the business, into a multi-family enterprise
- How to establish an effective process for developing and, if necessary, changing governance structures so that the end result is as effective as possible

Family strategic entrepreneurship:

How are enterprising families contributing to the successful design and implementation of business strategy ?

Family businesses comprise the dominant form of business organization worldwide and contribute more to the entrepreneurial economy than any other source. But maintaining that edge is a challenge for individual businesses.

There are several important strategic issues for family businesses. These include maintaining and institutionalizing entrepreneurial spirit through a well-designed professionalization process, ensuring resources and capabilities are transferred from the leading owners to both family and non-family successors, and developing ways to diversify value creation and reduce family risk.

Three breakout sessions will focus on these areas using a combination of practical case studies, lectures and interactive discussions to explore:

- The family as strategic entrepreneur
- How to transfer strategic resources (reputation, know-how etc.) between generations
- How to develop as strategic investors
- How to professionalize the business and the family
- How to diversify family enterprises
- How to improve the skills of family and business leaders

Family dynamics:

how are family relationships evolving to positively influence the business ?

All businesses owned by one or more families are family businesses, but an enterprising family business stands out because it keeps reinvigorating its entrepreneurial spirit – either by creating new businesses or by channeling new energy into the existing one.

The difference lies in relationships, the most important asset for a family business. Constructive interactions can support a range of initiatives that encourage corporate and family renewal. Whilst legacy is important in uncertain times, change and diversification matter as well. Enterprising families make things happen in their businesses and make a difference in their communities.

Discussions and case studies will help participants discover more about:

- Open dialogue and positive communication
- Caring and support for each family member’s life and business ambitions
- Preserving and respecting family history and values
- Providing formal and informal education about an enterprising family’s success
- Maintaining a healthy and active relationship between family and business

Human capital management in family enterprises:

How are family and non-family executives being integrated synergistically into leadership and management, and how is the transfer of the entrepreneurial spirit and key capabilities incorporated into the succession plan to ensure continuity ?

Family enterprises do not perpetuate themselves. Managing human capital is key to long-term success, and to reducing the danger described by the proverb: “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations”. To enable the people involved to tackle emerging family and business challenges, family enterprises need to make continuous efforts on three main fronts: the current generation, the next generation, and non-family members occupying key positions both in the family and in the business organization.

The three breakout sessions focused on human capital will explore how to employ the skills and capabilities of family and non-family members, plan the handover of key roles, attract external managerial talent, and balance the family and non-family members in the top management team.

Through case studies and interactive discussions, participants will learn how to:

- Develop leaders in the next generation
- Select future family and business leaders
- Develop responsible owners
- Inspire and nurture entrepreneurial spirit
- Attract external talent for key positions
- Integrate family and non-family executives into leadership and management

Social entrepreneurship:

What new social solutions are business families creating and implementing and how is social entrepreneurship being incorporated into business strategy ?

The essence of social entrepreneurship is to create new ventures that have environmental, social and governance goals that enhance a family business. Using case studies of such initiatives, we will explore the difficulties that inspired a social enterprise, when they arose, how different generations related to them and what alternative solutions were proposed by third parties. We will also discuss how the social enterprise developed, which family members or outsiders led the effort, and how it has added value to the family business or relationships.

The questions we expect to address in this stream include:

- How can social projects align with the need of a family business to have a sustainable strategy related to environmental, social and governance issues?
- What strategies have been successful – did next generation family members expand new ventures into not-for-profit or for-profit businesses? Or did the family business help sponsor a social entrepreneur related to their environmental, social and governance goals?
- How have social enterprises helped inspire more family members’ interest in the expansion or renewal of the family business?
- How have social projects improved inter-generational relationships, communications, and family engagement?