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Governing Family Enterprises

Enhance the Effectiveness of Your Board, Family Council, and/or Shareholder Assembly

Kellogg Executive
Leadership Institute
John Ward

Join some of the world’s leading multi-generational family companies to learn how governance can be used to sustain business continuity and family unity and commitment. Participants bring their siblings and cousins, other relations, board members and senior family and non-family executives to tackle together the complex issues of continuity and governance in a highly interactive and supportive learning environment. Led by Kellogg’s expert faculty, this highly collaborative program explores in depth the specialized knowledge and skills needed to effectively govern a complex family enterprise.

You’ll learn to differentiate the roles and responsibilities of owners, family members (those in, as well as out of, management), independent directors and executives. You’ll develop new governance and leadership skills as you work through real-world cases with peers from other prominent families from around the world. You’ll come away equipped and energized to help define your family enterprise’s future and move toward that future with confidence.

Download a Brochure

Upcoming Sessions

  • Session Full
    March 6-10, 2016
    Fee includes lodging and most meals
  • Apply Online
    October 23-27, 2016
    Fee includes lodging and most meals
  • $10,500
    March 5-9, 2017
    Fee includes lodging and most meals
  • $10,500
    October 8-13, 2017
    Fee includes lodging and most meals

Attendance is limited to:

  • Directors, family shareholders, CEOs, board chairs, and trustees of family-controlled firms
  • Family members involved in governing their family councils, family office or their family foundations

During the program you will:

  1. Define the roles and responsibilities of owners, directors, board chairs, the executive team and the family council
  2. Improve your board’s effectiveness
  3. Learn to coordinate and lead the interaction among the family, the Family Council, the Board, the Shareholders and the senior executives
  4. Learn about critical governance policies needed to sustain the relationship between the enterprise and the family
  5. Learn how a common vision can unite family owners in a long-term commitment to continuity
  6. Learn how governance can be used to gain trust among family owners, directors and top management
  7. Leverage governance as a key competitive advantage of family business
  8. Enjoy a global perspective — past participants have come from 34 countries

The program will focus on the roles of the board chair, independent directors, family council leadership, and non-family top management. Successful and innovative models of organizational design will be shared.

Governance Challenges Facing the Family Business

  1. Critique so-called best practices of governance
  2. Develop a theory of family business governance
  3. Explore how shareholder families evolve
  4. Leverage governance as a competitive advantage for the family enterprise
  5. Grasp the fundamental importance of educating the owners to accomplish sustainable governance
  6. Understand how to resolve the continuity challenges of family enterprises
  7. Design an appropriate, optimal governance structure for your enterprise
  8. Learn how governance structures and policies interact to elicit constructive shareholder engagement
  9. Understand the importance of staffing governance structures to optimize shareholder engagement and organizational effectiveness
  10. Acquire skills needed to lead effectively the processes of governance
  11. Confront the contradictions and paradoxes of governance

Defining Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Understand the roles of owners and the responsibilities of family councils, boards and executive management
  2. Learn how best to make a team out of your Board, your family council and of other governance committees
  3. Differentiate ruling from governing
  4. Manage the extended family
  5. Enhance shareholder loyalty, voice and commitment

Board Development and Evaluation

  1. Improve board decision making
  2. Build high-functioning board and family council teams
  3. Maximize board and family leadership effectiveness
  4. Learn how boards can add distinct value


Ivan Lansberg - Academic Director; Adjunct Professor of Family Enterprise Academic Director of the Center for Family Enterprises

John Ward - Academic Director; Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise Co-Director of the Center for Family Enterprises

Justin Craig - Clinical Professor of Family Enterprises Co-Director of the Center for Family Enterprises

J. Keith Murnighan - Harold H. Hines Jr. Professor of Risk Management Professor of Management & Organizations

Lloyd Shefsky - Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise Co-Director of the Center for Family Enterprises

Leigh Thompson - J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution & Organizations Professor of Management & Organizations Director of Kellogg Team and Group Research Center Professor of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences (Courtesy)

Featured Faculty Video

  • Professor John Ward and Ivan Lansberg

What Past Participants Say

  • "The program is very well structured and organized. It offers many new ideas about family governance structures. The quality of the faculty is excellent. It is a great opportunity to share and exchange points of view with other family companies."
    Chairman, Agrolimen, Spain
  • "Your program was the most meaningful and beneficial experience I have ever had - and not just in the realm of family business, either. From the breadth and depth of the material covered, to the outstanding group of participants involved, to the structure of the program that maximized the efficiency of every second we were there, it was simply fantastic!"
    Shareholder, Pella Corporation, U.S.A.
  • "I want to express my strong feelings of satisfaction for the high quality of the seminar on Family Business we just attended. Even our highest expectations were exceeded."
    Board Vice-President, Grupo Gerdau, Brazil
  • "This was without a doubt the most relevant, stimulating, creatively productive learning exercise I have ever experienced!"
    Chairman, Demco, Inc., U.S.A.
  • "The ability to work with lecturers who lead in this field and to mix with individuals who are facing the same issues and challenges created a highly stimulating environment."
    Chairman, Ogier & Le Masurier, Advocates & Solicitors, United Kingdom
  • "This program gave me hope that despite the concentration of power in our family, a change in vision and governance structure can change the company's decision making process, and therefore its direction."
    Shareholder, Intermatic Incorporated, U.S.A.
  • "The quality of the program attracted a diverse and highly talented group. The combination of high quality curriculum and experienced participants created tremendous take-home value."
    Family President, Laird Norton Company LLC, U.S.A.
  • "This was an extremely well-planned and delivered program. It provided me with a mirror with which to look at our company critically."
    Board of Directors Member, Merweoord B.V., Holland

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