New times, same purpose

This is my first-ever blog post and it couldn’t be in a more ideal setting: IESE’s Family-Owned Business Blog, which today enters a new phase as Josep Tàpies advanced last week in his post.

From now on, this blog will be a group effort, with contributions from every member of IESE’s Chair of Family-Owned Business’ academic team. We will continue to enjoy the teachings of Prof. Tàpies, who remains a key member of our team, while adding new views, voices and vantage points.

Pascual Berrone will share his knowledge on strategic leadership in family-owned firms; Alfonso Chiner will reflect on family governance and family vision; Joan de Dou will contribute his expertise on people management; Heinrich Liechtenstein will explore family purpose, philanthropy and family offices; and Jeroen Neckebrouck will examine the role of entrepreneurship, diversity and investors in family firms. To all of them, my warmest welcome and sincere thanks for their interest and enthusiasm on this venture.

Each of us will approach family-owned business from our area of expertise, together providing a multidisciplinary vision that we hope inspires and enlightens our readers. Another innovation is that we’ll be combining posts in Spanish and English, with each contributor publishing in the language required by his or her work. The launch of the In Family Business blog in English will surely expand the Chair’s international reach.

We have the tremendous privilege of building on a broad and solid base. This blog boasts a rich repository of more than 400 posts written by my esteemed colleague Josep Tàpies, who week by week, offered insights to help us better understand the world of family-owned businesses. Since taking the helm in 2003, Josep not only continued with the exceptional work of Prof. Miguel Ángel Gallo, the Chair’s first holder, he built upon it.

Thanks to all these efforts, we today have an incredible wealth of theoretical and practical knowledge on family-owned firms that gives us a deeper appreciation of family businesses and business families. This pursuit of knowledge inspired the creation of the Family-Owned Business Chair in 1987 and has served as a beacon ever since.

Generated over more than three decades, a large part of this rich body of work is showcased in Family-Owned Business: 30 Years of Answered Questions, published in 2017 to mark the Chair’s 30th anniversary. You’ll also discover a broad range of contents on the Chair’s knowledge portal In Family Business, which is updated every week. Throughout the years, Josep has built a solid foundation that will serve us well in our ongoing efforts to grow and magnify our impact on family business and society.

Family-run firms serve as the driving force in many global economies, playing a central role in their economic development. Keenly aware of the importance of people, they advance social progress while remaining true to their values and purpose.

Family business are engines of decent work, promoters of greater wellbeing and advocates for equality, guided by a long-term vision and an unwavering focus on sustainability and the legacy for future generations. In this sense, we could say their approach is very much aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, today at the forefront of corporate agendas. Over the coming months, my aim is to continue developing this line of research.

I assume my new role as the holder of IESE’s Family-Owned Business Chair cognizant of the great responsibility it entails, excited for what lies ahead and grateful for the support and encouragement of an excellent team, alumni community and readership. This is and always will you home, and as such, we would love to hear your ideas and suggestions to make it better.

>> This post is also available in Spanish.