Family CEOs: aging and conservatism

According to popular wisdom, people tend to get more conservative as they age. But is this actually true? And if so, how does it impact CEOs and the organizations they lead? If we look to previous research, business leaders indeed show a tendency toward risk aversion as their corporate careers wind down, favoring quick wins […]

Purpose is strategy

According to Grant F. Reid, CEO and president of Mars, “Performance without purpose is meaningless, and purpose without performance is not possible. It’s the magic combination.” For Mars CFO Claus Aagaard, “Private ownership provides a great platform to live our purpose as we can do the right things and faster without the worry of the […]

Family business and globalization

My colleague Prof. Marta Elvira asked me if I could write about family business and globalization. I do so with pleasure but with the fear that some readers might find my conclusions disappointing. In this post, I won’t refer to large corporations but to medium-sized companies, defined by the European Union as firms with revenues […]

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Do we have an ownership strategy?

In our 2012 book Genesis of the Board, José María Navarro-Rubio and I explore the concurrence of three distinct spheres in family-controlled firms – ownership, business and management – which business owners must address in parallel. First is the ownership strategy, which outlines the owners’ vision in terms of the type of company they aspire […]

What’s the purpose of a shared family purpose?

“To whom much is given, much will be required.” This precept dates back to biblical times yet remains just as relevant as ever among multigenerational family firms. By distributing their wealth toward specific social causes and concerns – often unrelated to their core business – high-net-worth families can serve as powerful agents of change. On […]

How do informal institutions influence family-owned firms?

As outlined in my previous post, the prevalence, strategy and performance of family-controlled firms (FCFs) differs across countries, yet research has primarily underscored formal institutions like regulations and legal frameworks to justify these differences. In our research, we widened the scope to explore how informal systems such as social ordering systems, hierarchies and values might […]

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4 mechanisms to boost stakeholder engagement

There’s no doubt about it: companies that genuinely aspire to leave a positive and long-lasting mark in the world need to engage their stakeholders. But what are the most effective strategies to achieve this aim? To answer this question, I joined forces with Prof. Anabella Dávila from EGADE Business School (TEC de Monterrey) and IESE […]