Family businesses are the backbone of our economy, making up more than 80% of all enterprises. They differ substantially from other companies in terms of their objectives, structures, and resources. At the same time, these differences are often ignored in conventional adviser training and executive education. Notably, family companies face what is known as an “advice dilemma”: on the one hand, they are particularly reliant on external professional advice because of the special challenges they face (such as succession, involvement of family members in decisions, emotions). Conversely, many advisers do not have the training and experience to respond to the specific needs and requirements of family businesses in a sufficiently goal-oriented manner.
The aim of this executive education program is to provide precisely this expertise. The program equips advisers from a range of disciplines (e.g. auditors, bank advisers, financial advisers, lawyers, management consultants) to work with family businesses and families in business. The aim of this online course is to foster an understanding of the specific requirements of these companies, to familiarize course participants with the “tools” for advising family businesses, and to generate a discussion of best practices.
The course has a practical focus and examines a wide range of examples from commercial practice. Various teaching methods are used – lectures, guided discussions between the course participants, and working through a case study.
- What are family businesses and what makes them special?
- Conflicts and emotions in family businesses
- The “family business advice” paradox
- Specific requirements of family businesses
- Strategy & innovation
- Risk, financial structure, and liquidity
- ‘Most trusted adviser’ concept
- Working methods
- Deep dive: advisers in succession cases
- Harvard Business Case – a case study on advising family businesses