Preparing the next generation to inherit and lead the family enterprise is the single most important determinant of a successful generational handoff. It depends significantly on both the senior generation and the next generation taking active roles in the preparation process. Specifically, what can each generation do to help develop the next generation? What does each generation want from the other throughout this journey?

These and related questions were discussed by families from around the world, for 20 years, at Harvard Business School, in the Families in Business program which was founded and led by Prof. John Davis from 1997–2017. (Prof. Davis now teaches at MIT where he leads the family enterprise area.) Next Generation Success offers a convenient summary of these rich conversations between senior and next generation members regarding what each generation can do to help the next generation develop as effective managers, owners and family members. The perspectives of both generations are compared over a 10 year period across more than 250 families from 45 countries.

Cambridge Family Enterprise Group, 2014


John A. Davis, Chairman, and Founder, Cambridge Family Enterprise Group; Senior Lecturer, Family Enterprise Programs, MIT Sloan School of Management

Maria Sinanis, CFEG
Maria Sinanis, Partner, Senior Advisor, and Fellow, Cambridge Family Enterprise Group

Courtney Collette, CFEG
Courtney Collette, Partner and Head of Research & Education, Cambridge Family Enterprise Group

The Cambridge Institute for Family Enterprise is a global research and education organization dedicated to positioning family enterprises to be successful over generations. CIFE offers transformative workshops and programs, in open and private settings. Its research agenda and publications explore the key drivers of family enterprise success. CFEG.com.



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