About CFEG: Our Approach
CAMBRIDGE FAMILY ENTERPRISE GROUP is passionate about helping family enterprises, and the families that own and lead these organizations, to navigate the challenges of our time, improve the functioning of the family and its organizations, and achieve multigenerational success and sustainability.
Through our decades of advising enterprising families around the world and our recognized thought leadership in this field, we have learned what drives long-term success and sustainability for enterprising families and for their organizations—family companies, family offices, family philanthropic foundations, and other kinds of family organizations:
- We know what leads to high performance and shareholder value in family businesses and other family organizations; how family companies achieve higher long-term profitability, returns and growth.
- We understand that capable and committed family ownership provides the stability and stewardship that breed superior long-term decisions, and we know how to build capable and committed family ownership groups.
- We also understand that the family, itself, contributes unity, talent, reputation and other resources that are essential to a long-lasting family enterprises.
We have pioneered the field of family enterprise study, advisory, and education since the 1970s. We invite you to explore our understandings and methodologies gained through our Thought Leadership.
OUR CORE PRINCIPLES
Our work, which achieves tangible, transformative outcomes and lasting change for the family enterprise system, is guided by these deeply held principles:
- Our client is the family, or the family ownership group, and we keep the long-term success and sustainability of the family front and center in our work.
- Every step of our work—from the analysis of goals and challenges to the implementation of needed actions and changes—incorporates the voice, interests and views of the family. The family must own the decisions they make with our assistance, so our work with families is highly collaborative.
What does a collaborative working relationship look like? We share responsibility with our client for achieving the family’s and ownership group’s objectives. We provide advice, education, assessment tools, analysis of their situation, research insights, and benchmarking measures to help our clients achieve their desired path. We guide and facilitate important family, ownership and management discussions, describe practices that have been successful for other families and companies, recommend tailored solutions that we believe would be useful, and offer analysis and insights around a family’s particular choices. With our support and guidance, our client makes the ultimate decision for making changes and taking action.
- Our work is highly effective, in part, because we have a systems understanding of our client’s world. We describe to our clients their integrated family enterprise system, mapping how the family’s activities and organizations, key people, and various groups interact—and either perform well or are challenged. Real transformation and sustainability is achieved when all groups in the system improve their functioning and achieve alignment around their goals and interests.
- We recognize the developmental stages of the family, ownership group, business and other organizations, and the trajectory the system is on. This understanding helps us to address the issues the system currently has, and to prepare the system for the issues it will likely encounter. Our proprietary approach helps build holistic, lasting improvements for the entire system over the long-term.
- We build skills and approaches in the family enterprise system to help family members constructively and respectfully communicate, negotiate, problem solve, and work together. We strive to implant in our clients’ systems the understandings, processes, skills and customized best practices that reduce their dependency on our involvement and enhance their confidence and self-reliance to chart their own course and address the issues they face.
- We practice confidentiality in all aspects of our work with clients. We do not use client names in public, unless a client is public about our relationship. We maintain the privacy of individual comments unless we have permission to share them. Within our firm, only colleagues connected to a client project may know the guarded information related to that work.