Future Family Enterprise: Sustaining Multigenerational Success


Recent research indicates that most families that achieve financial success—typically through a family company—lose their success within three generations. Why do some family enterprises derail while others prosper? This new program for multigenerational families will help you understand and implement the important driving factors of long-term, enduring, family enterprise success. The course also examines where family enterprises are going and what will drive their success in the future economy.

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Future Family Enterprise: Sustaining Multigenerational Success
Certificate Track: Management and Leadership
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Tuition: $40,000 for a team of four, $7,500 for each additional participant (excluding accommodations)
Program Days (for ACE Credit) 5

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The Future Family Enterprise program leads multigenerational families through a stimulating week-long conversation that produces clarity on the path ahead for each participating family and its enterprise. Your family will learn practical concepts and tested practices—organized around examples of multigenerational success and failure—to aid your thinking, improve your long-term planning and alignment, and shape the roadmap of your family enterprise system.

In this six-day program (Sunday afternoon to Friday at noon), faculty explore the opportunities, challenges, and future trends for owning, governing, and managing a family company and a broader family enterprise organization over multiple generations. Conversations and class sessions focus on the distinct issues faced by multigenerational families that have survived beyond the founder-stage. The program views the family enterprise through the lens of ownership, helping you to understand the important decisions that are yours to make as well as how to govern and plan for the longevity of your family’s enterprise activities.

In addition to interactive classroom work and exchanges among families from around the world, your family will have daily, private, facilitated discussions with an experienced family enterprise advisor to focus on your interests and agenda. Families should attend in teams spanning two or more generations. Each family team will leave the program with a tailored action plan built together over the course.

Important questions addressed include:

  • How is technology shaping industries and companies, and how must family-owned businesses adapt?
  • What are the emerging strategies for capitalizing, owning, and controlling family companies?
  • What are the trends in governance of multigenerational companies, family offices, ownership groups, families, and foundations?
  • How are families themselves modernizing and remaining united in this mobile, globalized world?
  • With Generation X assuming leadership roles, and the emergence of the Millennial Generation, how are succession planning and next generation talent development more complex today? How do families prepare for generational transitions in this fast-changing environment?
  • What are the latest strategies for steering and sustaining a complex, multigenerational family enterprise, with a growing number of family owners, for another generation or more?

The combined experience of faculty and participants produces deep understandings and even profound transformations for participating families. Your family will have conversations you never anticipated and will leave the program feeling closer and more aligned about your future as a result.

The Future Family Enterprise program is led by MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer John Davis, a pioneer in the family enterprise field and a globally recognized authority on family enterprise, family wealth, and the family office. Davis joined MIT Sloan after leading the family enterprise area at Harvard Business School for more than 20 years. He is an award-winning teacher and researcher and is the creator of some of the field’s most impactful conceptual frameworks. Davis is also Chairman of Cambridge Family Enterprise Group, a global advisory and research organization.


Recently Recorded Webinar with Prof. John Davis

Recently Recorded Webinar with Prof. John Davis

A New Formula for the Long-term Survival and Success of Family Enterprises

In this webinar, John Davis shares specific activities that a family-owned enterprise needs to be good at to survive and prosper.

What can tradition-rooted family businesses learn from future-focused MIT?

Disruption and change are shortening time horizons for all businesses, but family businesses have extra layers of complexity—the future success of the business is inseparable from the well-being of the family—and all the more reason to be better educated about the future.

John Davis on the Three Circle Model

The Three Circle Model is 40 years old this year and is still the most relevant and widely used model in family business advising. Listen to episode 43 of The Family Business Podcast (free on itunes) to hear John Davis speak about this model and other issues facing family businesses.