Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

SINGAPORE, 29 August 2023 – The Kellogg School of Management’s John L. Ward Center (‘the Ward Center’) for Family Enterprises has highlighted the value of ‘transformative learning’ as a means of supporting long term succession planning for family businesses and managing the transition between generations.

At the Global Family Business Summit, held today in Singapore by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, one of the leading research and teaching universities in the U.S., experts from the Ward Center shared research on family business trends and outlined specific learning approaches to help family businesses protect and enhance the value of their operations and build capacity over time.

As part of its commitment to continuously developing its teaching capacity, the Ward Center collaborates with external partners, such as Tanoto Foundation, who share insights gleaned from decades of business which in turn contribute to the research carried out by the Center.

Francesca Cornelli, dean of the Kellogg School of Management, said: “When family businesses grow, they face challenges which are different than other types of businesses. Families have to adapt to expansions and new challenges, sometimes in a short time span. It is therefore important to consider new approaches to build capacity and ensure an effective transition between generations”.

“The Ward Center’s educational programming and groundbreaking research is an asset to family businesses across Asia and around the world, and I’m thrilled we were able to convene so many prominent family business leaders in Singapore for these important conversations,” she added.

Dr. Matt Allen, Executive Director of the Ward Center for Family Enterprises, said: “In many cases, the next generation of family businesses will have witnessed their companies evolve from a nascent stage to a vast and intricate present. This is why we have introduced what we call ‘transformative learning’, in which we use innovative teaching methodologies to help students and their families to rethink how they can work together for the future of their businesses”.

The Global Family Business Summit takes place against a backdrop of the steady growth in family businesses, both globally and in Asia. Research from PwC published last March showed that 71% of family businesses reported growth in their last financial year, while the number of family offices based in Singapore has increased exponentially in recent years.

Dr. J. Satrijo Tanudjojo, Global CEO of Tanoto Foundation, said: “This dramatic growth in family businesses highlights the need for continuing scholarship and research in this area. There’s an increasing need for education focused on family business strategies, governance, and succession to ensure the sustainable expansion of family businesses for future generations”.

In 2021, Tanoto Foundation made a donation of USD10 million to Northwestern University, renaming the Kellogg School of Management’s Center for Family Enterprises to the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises, in honour of Clinical Professor Emeritus John L. Ward, who served as co-director of the center for nearly two decades and was one of the first scholars to put science behind the field of family enterprise.

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