A governance system for the family enterprise: the importance of process (NxG)
Mills Estruturas e Servicos de Engenharia SA, Brazil
Cristian Nacht, Chairman (2nd generation)
Francisca Nacht (3rd generation)
Antonia Nacht (3rd generation)
Tomas Nacht (3rd generation)
As family business evolves as a field for academic research and consulting, elements of governance can become commoditized. Some families may adopt an “off-the-shelf” set of policies. Enterprising families need to remember that the process for developing governance is as important as the structures themselves, and often a good predictor of whether the mechanisms will actually work.
Mills provides scaffolding and concrete forms for Brazil’s oil, shipbuilding and construction industries. Cristian, the chairman, has worked in the business since 1969, and now devotes half his time to non-profit work. Francisca is the eldest third-generation member of the Nacht family, lives in Denmark, and is involved in social entrepreneurship. Tomas is the only third-generation family member to have worked in the business, but after 10 years he left to focus on outdoor experiential education. Antonia, meanwhile, was a professional ballet dancer and has since been involved in fundraising and administration for cultural projects. Two years ago she quit her full-time job to focus more on family dynamics and governance. While Mills’ corporate governance is well established, the Nachts have only recently begun building a more comprehensive governance system for the family. Through the different family members’ perspectives, we will learn:
- What is a successful family enterprise governance system?
- What are the essential process steps for developing a successful governance system?
- Who should be involved at each of those steps?
- What are some of the challenges that families face in developing a governance system for the family enterprise?