The Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise develops customized, private workshops for business leadership teams, ownership groups, and governance groups. These intensive, three-to-five-day breakthrough experiences mix thought-provoking classes led by world content experts with grounded, facilitated discussions of your organization or group, and its goals and challenges. This is all structured around developing or improving a strategic plan with specific goals and initiatives that move the needle.

These intensive and transformative programs develop and accelerate forward-thinking strategies that achieve breakthrough performance for family companies and other family organizations, and build alignment for the participating team. Participants walk away with clear understandings and action plans for achieving the family’s and owners’ vision for the company and enterprise.

Our programs are tailored to the participants’ goals, interests, and level of experience. Customization in the topics, curriculum, instructor teams, length, and location provide a high-impact, transformative educational experience.

We invite you to contact us to explore a customized intensive workshop for your team.

Understand our Impact.

Explore how our workshops have helped owners, boards, managers, and families achieve greater levels of success.

Hear from Past Participants


Corporate Transformation

The holding company board members of a diversified conglomerate participated in a 5-day workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, designed and led by CFEG. This family ownership group and their non-family leadership group walked away with much higher level understandings of the owners’ vision for their enterprise and how to overhaul their corporate organization to meet new global challenges and prepare for the future. With instructors and facilitators from CFEG, Harvard Business School, and some of the leading family businesses in the world, this intensive workshop offered a deep-dive into the latest corporate trends, the company’s own challenges and opportunities, and working sessions to create tangible action plans. Topics included how to identify their company’s strategic advantage; how to build a talent strategy for their company; how to design and staff their two-tiered corporate governance model; the applicability of private equity models for their company; and how to lead boards at the holding company and operating company levels. Most importantly, the family board members better understood how to adapt their leadership roles to be effective in their new corporate organization. Participants remarked that, “This workshop sped up our organization’s decision-making by three years.”

Board Preparation for a Succession Transition

The board of directors of a late generation, industry giant participated in a workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts to prepare for a generational transition in executive leadership. As they faced a transition to their first non-family chief executive, the family and non-family directors sought to design their succession process with state-of-the-art best practices and benchmarking with industry leaders around the world. This workshop addressed the philosophies and practices of a professional succession transition; how to adapt succession planning to the complexities in their family business and industry; the creation and role of a holding company; the difference in roles between the Chairman, CEO and COO; best-in-class examples of successful generational transitions; common pitfalls and lessons of failed succession attempts; how to incorporate the family and owners into the process; and working sessions on the design and sequencing of their own succession planning timetable. The workshop opened many discussions about where the company and industry are heading, the changing leadership needs in their fast-moving industry, and the complexities of choosing non-family talent in a family business.

Board Transformation

The family owners of a fast-growing family business sought to internationalize their company and break into new levels of growth, profitability, and global recognition. Their existing board had admirably guided them to their current level of performance, but was insufficient in helping them leap to become a dominant global player in their industry. Their workshop addressed how to overhaul their governance model in order to provide them the board that they needed for this next chapter. Through presentations on the best practices of corporate governance and organization design models for multinational companies, and discussions with Chairmen from leading multinational family businesses, the owners walked away with a new design for their corporate governance structure. They understood the new profile and performance standards for directors on their board, and had an action plan to dismantle their existing board and create a new, transformed board. In doing so, they recognized that a strong corporate board required a symbiotic relationship with strong governance in the family and in the ownership group; thus a new family council and owners council were born, with differentiated roles and plans for coordination.

Family Council Transformation

A family council that had been performing well for several years discovered that they were losing momentum and lacking a motivating purpose. While they had become proficient at organizing family meetings, keeping the family informed about the family’s business and other activities, and offering occasional education programs, they did not understand that these activities needed to be guided by a clear family mission and strategic plan to achieve key family goals. Their 3-day workshop diagnosed their family enterprise system; helped the council develop a family mission and the framework of a plan to achieve that mission; and created a motivating mandate for the family council to actively work with the family to develop and achieve a multigenerational family strategy. Moreover, they discovered that the Family Council needed to elevate its role to think strategically for the family. This helped senior leadership in the family to integrate the family’s strategy with the business’ strategy and the family’s wealth strategy to produce a realistic plan for the sustainability of their family enterprise.