June 3, 2020  /  Debbie Bing
These are trying times. We see a world that feels turned upside down, and share deep despair and anger at the racial injustice behind the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless more before them.
 
We know that better is both possible and necessary. We at CFAR are committed to making a difference where we are able—by working with leaders and organizations to create space for dialogue and connection, and through our deeply held belief that differences are a virtue, not a liability, in the impactful outcomes we seek. 
 
Leaders have an important role in our collective next chapter to demonstrate values and build cultures that embrace differences, learning, hope, and commitment to change.I... read more »
May 8, 2020  /  Megan Helzner

Preparing the next generation ("Next Gen") is a critical step on the path to succession in a family business. There are many ways to create development opportunities, starting with exposure in “small bites” from a young age, in age- and stage-appropriate ways. Think: formal education programs, or spending time in the proverbial “mailroom” (or its equivalent), or accompanying a family member on a job, and more. 

 

One steadfast and valuable method to expose the Next Gen to business has been internships, typically starting in high school or college. Summer learning opportunities develop younger family membe... read more »

April 29, 2020  /  Caleb White

Caleb E. White, PrincipalThe often heard board governance adage of “nose in, fingers out”1 is regularly held up as guidance for board members and a caution to them, many of whom are former C-suite executives, that it’s not their job to delve too deeply into day-to-day operations. 

 

But should this hold in this time of a crisis—particularly one the length and depth of which is unknown? The COVID-19 crisis has triggered countless off-cycle board meetings or updates, whether fiduciary or advisory, with management working diligently to provide important information ab... read more »

April 27, 2020  /  Katelyn Husereau

Throughout this challenging time, there is one message that continues to bring a great deal of comfort: “We are in this together.” We are all facing some degree of paralyzing uncertainty and intense challenge. Though our individual situations may be quite different, some experiences these days seem universally shared: 

 

— Our personal and business lives are even more enmeshed than normal as the boundary between work and home is obliterated

 read more »

April 22, 2020  /  Jennifer Tomasik
As the leader of CFAR’s healthcare practice and in my role as Regent for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), I was honored to host a webinar last week for healthcare leaders grappling with questions about how to care for themselves and for others (their teams, their patients, their families) in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. My colleagues at ACHE Rhode Island and I wanted to create a safe space to address the kinds of questions participants were asking: How do I help overwhelmed teams of healthcare providers focus on what’s most important, even as they fear for their own safety? How do I support cancer patients as they’... read more »
April 17, 2020  /  Debbie Bing
Debbie Bing, President and Principal“My values haven't been tested but my ability to live by them have been shattered.”
—Family business leader
 
Yesterday, my colleague and I led a webinar with hundreds of members of family businesses on the topic of resilience. The basic premise is clear: the art of resilience—surviving, thriving, even against the toughest odds—is “built in” for family businesses—built over decades and across generations. More often than not, family businesses that last are molded by values shared and tested week after week, decade after decade, pr... read more »
April 16, 2020  /  Barry Dornfeld and Jennifer Tomasik
Developing leaders and leadership in healthcare has become increasingly important during normally turbulent times, a topic we reflected on in our piece in the Wharton Healthcare Quarterly last spring. But now that we find ourselves in a full-blown public crisis, with our health delivery systems—from front line workers to clinical and research leadership to executives—completely focused on responding to the crisis, should we expect healthcare organizations to focus on leadership development? 
 
The simple answer is, of course, no. 
 
Leaders must focus their attention on the urgent needs of patients and communit... read more »
April 13, 2020  /  Todd Smith
Todd Smith, Senior ConsultantWe know that family businesses have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 situation—and the impacts are being felt not only as business owners, but as family members who care for each other and are trying to stay connected in new and purposeful ways. They are trying to navigate an unprecedented environment in ways that keep their family and their business healthy.
 
One way we are finding many family business clients reacting to social isolation is unexpected and wonderful—using circumstances to accelerate governance and engagement work across their generations. In conversations with them, we are... read more »
March 19, 2020  /  Richard Levin

Almost 20 years ago, CFAR Coaching Practice Leader Dr. Richard J. Levin wrote the guidelines—linked below—for the UN to help parents and children cope with the unprecedented events of 9/11. As the COVID-19 pandemic develops, this same resource may be useful in comforting and guiding you and your family during these challenging times. As always, CFAR is here for you, both personally and professionally. You may download and read the article HERE.

March 17, 2020  /  Debbie Bing

We at CFAR hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Like you, we are watching the events unfold by the hour, attempting to balance an attunement to this moment with our commitment to our work with both clients and colleagues. We are so appreciative of the many messages we’ve received from those both close and far that convey how deeply we are all in this together.

 

The safety and wellbeing of our CFAR team and our wider communities are of the utmost importance for us. We have transitioned to working remotely, already experienced and still learning how to authentically stay connected by video and phone. We are doing all we can to provide continued support to our clients. I am am... read more »

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