TODAY’S BUSINESS LANDSCAPE sees an accelerating rate of technological change, unprecedented competition and increased globalization. More than ever before, family companies need high-performing, strategic boards that help the owners think about the company’s future. Having a company that is well-steered by a strong board is a significant advantage for the owners of family companies.
The Building a Worldclass Board for the Family Enterprise program provides an orientation on the fundamentals of boards for family companies.
How would a high-functioning board benefit your company and owners? How do you create a board, manage it, strengthen it or change it to meet the current and future needs of your business? How do you best contribute as a director on a board of a family business? How do you lead a family business board that you chair?
Over three days, through rich discussion, classroom sessions, exercises and Harvard case studies, participants will understand boards more deeply and acquire skills to effectively contribute as board members now and in the future.
Topics and themes include:
BENEFITS & TYPES OF BOARDS
- Why have a board?
- What does the data reveal about good boards and company performance?
- How can owners maximize the value of their board?
- What are the different types of boards, and which is right for my family business?
- What should a board provide to the owners and the company?
DUTIES OF BOARDS
- What are the responsibilities of boards?
- What is the board’s role in setting strategy, monitoring performance, overseeing management and CEO succession?
- What are the proper boundaries and means of coordination between shareholders, management and the board?
- How can boards effectively connect to the owners and family, particularly with growing sibling and cousin ownership groups?
COMPOSITION OF BOARDS
- How do you compose an effective board? Who should serve on it? What is the appropriate size? What are appropriate qualifications for family directors and independent directors?
- What is expected of directors?
- How do you recruit and compensate board members?
- What are appropriate terms of office and retirement ages?
- What are special considerations when recruiting independent directors?
- How can family directors contribute appropriately to the board?
- Which board committees are necessary?
BOARD PROCESS & LEADERSHIP
- What does an effective board meeting accomplish and look like?
- What are the best practices for effective board agendas?
- What is the role of the Chairman vis-à-vis the CEO?
- What are the qualities of an effective Chair?
TRANSFORMING A BOARD
- How do you create a new board? How do you improve an existing board?
- How and when do you turnover your board members?
- How do you evaluate your current board?
- How does a board become a successful decision-making group?
- How do you prepare the next generation of board members?
Professor Philippe Haspeslagh is Honorary Dean and Professor at the Vlerick Business School, a Belgian business school with campuses in Brussels, Gent, Leuven, Saint Petersburg and Beijing. He led the school from 2008- 2015. Until 2008 he was the Paul Desmarais Chaired Professor of Active Ownership at INSEAD where he started the International Directors Forum and directed the Advanced Management Programme.
For over thirty years, Dr. John A. Davis has served as an academic, advisor, writer and speaker in the family enterprise field. He is a global authority on family enterprise, family wealth, leadership and succession. He is Founder and Chairman of the Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise, and Chair of the Families in Business program at Harvard Business School, where he has been on the faculty since 1997. He is the author of Enduring Advantage: Collected Essays on Family Enterprise, Next Generation Success and Generation to Generation: Life Cycles of the Family Business, a preeminent work in the family enterprise field.
Eduardo Gentil is a Senior Advisor and Partner at Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise where he advises business families on issues related to succession, boards of directors, family and ownership governance, financial planning, and ownership strategies. Since 2000, he has led the Brazil practice of Cambridge Advisors, and has worked globally with multigenerational families. He is a Fellow at Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise where he teaches and facilitates in family business programs around the world, including at the Families in Business program at Harvard Business School.
Andrew Hier is a Senior Advisor and Partner at Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise where he advises business families globally on issues related to shareholder relationships, ownership strategies, succession and next generation issues, and governance of the family, owners and business. He is a Fellow at Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise where he teaches and facilitates in family business programs around the world, including at the Families in Business program at Harvard Business School. An attorney, he is co-author of the forthcoming book, Understanding the Power of Ownership. He is active in the Family Firm Institute, the premiere association of advisors serving families, where he co-chaired the 2014 Global Conference.
Whitney MacMillan served as CEO of Cargill from 1976 to 1995. He was the last member of the Cargill family to serve as CEO. During his tenure, Cargill went from $10 billion to $33 billion over ten years. By the 1980s, it became the world's largest grain company, outstripping its European rivals.
Pascale Michaud is an advisor to family enterprises throughout the world on strategies and governance models for their successful continuity. She advises multigenerational family enterprises on issues of corporate growth, business strategy and governance, innovation management, digital preparedness, leadership transitions, next generation development, family governance, and family and corporate philanthropy.