Exclusive to Business Families
November 12-13, 2021

  • Focuses on today's issues and tomorrow's opportunities
  • See what we learned at last year's Summit

  • Draws on shared wisdom, contrasting opinions and solution-driven ideas
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Family Enterprise Canada Monthly Barometer Family Enterprise Foundation

Why Attend

New Connections

Make new connections with business families from across Canada who understand your unique reality.

Thought Leaders

Get unique insights and perspectives on today's issues directly from global thought leaders in family enterprise.

New Opportunities

Take full advantage of this Summit to discover the opportunities of tomorrow for your business and family.

Learning Together

Strengthen your family relationships as you and your family members learn, share and grow together.

 

Explore today's issues in family enterprise

What is urgent? What takes priority? The newest generational divide.

Societal issues are spilling over into family enterprises. Think healthcare, climate change, automation, inclusivity, etc. In light of last year’s events and lingering uncertainty, we may be witnessing a “decoupling” of attitudes between generations as to what is urgent, what takes priority and how entrepreneurial families should be acting now and for the longer term. Such differences are neither obvious nor bad. In fact, they can be leveraged to support growth and sustainability. How families harness (and exploit) generational variances is what’s important.

Take a glance below at these and other topics we will be discussing at the Summit...

Winds of Social Change

  1. How might families leverage patient capital while reflecting on global events?
  2. What are families observing in the actions their competitors are taking?
  3. Is excessive patience risk-aversion?

Less inequity, more opportunity ǀ By now we have all heard how new policies for social change are needed once the pandemic is over. Politicians from Joe Biden to Boris Johnson, civil society organizations and even consulting firms have espoused the phrase “Build Back Better” as an expression of new values in policymaking. Where do business families fit in?

Many seek to further empower their employees. Others are mindful of fair wages and perks, and sensitive to the necessity of flexible and working conditions that favour productivity and health. These factors enhance loyalty. Yet the winds of social change are up. They will blow hot and cold on generations, particularly in this time of fragile economic recovery. Meanwhile, we’re hearing calls for a universal basic income. Calls for greater social dividends – that is, returns on the capital assets owned by our society – are coming too, but at what cost to enterprises that would help finance them? Even visionary families find intergenerational distribution of their wealth challenging. It is a curious paradox that they may be increasingly called upon to lead tremendous social change in ways that will have far-reaching implications beyond their own bloodlines.

Join us for Families Summit of Minds, November 12-13

Space is limited, so pre-register now!

Pre-Register now

Smarter Environments

  1. Where do families start in building a greener future?
  2. Are families we doing enough for environmental causes?
  3. How do we align all generations towards a coherent environmental strategy?
  4. Are there quick wins and actionable steps?

Are families doing enough? ǀ Often held up as civic-minded and whose long-term views provide economic resilience, family-owned enterprises can do better. What kind of planet will we leave our children? What can we do better today?

Regenerative economies that eliminate waste through continual use of resources still stand in contrast with traditional “take, make and dispose” models of production long associated with Boomers. As we continue to contribute more greenhouses gases that we reduce, one wonders if net-zero is a mirage. The bigger question is: Are family businesses truly aligned across generations in our bid to leave the planet in better shape tomorrow? We assume Millennials are more concerned than others with global challenges. This cohort is seen to be more socially aware and environmentally responsible. Yet there is evidence that shows older age groups who are farther ahead. When it actually comes to reversing their carbon footprints, Boomers spend more on the environment. The same applies to charity and donations. That doesn’t matter. What does is common ground, instilling responsibility across generations, and finding ways to make it tangible so entire families can get behind it.

Vanguard Governance

  1. What does good governance mean to your family?
  2. How do you empower family members? 
  3. How does your family interact to drive new business? 

Shared responsibility, skills and horizontal management ǀ Is our family enterprise creative enough or daring enough in its decision-making? Do we empower ourselves through concrete actions that grant family members greater responsibility to discover, develop and drive new revenue channels?

It’s true that winning new business and creating fresh business models starts and ends with a leap of faith. Yet, methodically digging into resources that all family members can offer – unique talents, untapped skills, unknown competencies – mitigates risk and opens possibilities. Suddenly faith is galvanized and good business sense prevails. The economic climate has forced many families to get creative. Some have pivoted; others have hunkered down to stay afloat; few are standing still. Their common ground? Generations are coming together to find new ways to drive old business, and where senior members empower young guns. What’s the secret recipe?


Facilitated by Devin De Ciantis, Lansberg Gersick & Associates, LLC

Economics and Attitudes

  1. What is a healthy ratio for balancing rentier and entrepreneurial strategies?
  2. What is our relationship to material ownership and capital investment?
  3. If we are not entrepreneurial, are we contributing to global inequalities?

Rentier Class vs Entrepreneurial Class: Tomorrow’s Trade-Offs ǀ One of the sunnier outcomes of the health crisis is that it reminded consumers and producers that, when pushed, we can get by on less. Generational cohorts witnessed this as they found themselves on the same economic page in 2020. Their common ground? Survive. 

Now, amid the rise of rentier capitalism, one wonders if the generations are truly aligned. Rentiers are considered damaging because they extract “unearned” value from our economy. They invest in unproductive assets, such as real estate, or reap excessive profits through monopolistic control of infrastructure. For “entrepreneurial” families there is plenty to debate. Do we oppose the “bad” capitalism of the unproductive rentier over “good” capitalism of productive enterprise? Paradoxically, both are inextricably linked. The rentier class is not an anomaly but a common recurrence, one which tends to accompany periods of protracted economic decline. Still, there should be a balance between accumulation of capital and entrepreneurial attitudes that promote its redistribution. The question is: What kind of economy do we want our families build and operate in?

Continuity: NextGen Intentions in the Family Enterprise

  1. How do generations define continuity? How do they propel it?
  2. Are the intentions of next-gen owners synced with their deepest desires?
  3. What is the allure of family-ownership?

Peer Conversation | By their very nature family enterprises must reconcile the unpredictability of business with the responsibility of ownership and the challenge of realizing the aspirations of all family members. This fundamental combination, which has defined enterprising families for centuries, yields mixed results in terms of lasting legacies and family cohesion. If enterprise continuity is an overly burdensome concept on the minds of rising generations, a redefinition of legacy may be in order.

Purpose and Re-Purposing: Managing Drive and the Family Enterprise

  1. Can family purpose be tracked through coherence mapping?
  2. What defines a coherent entrepreneurial family?
  3. Do business families have a responsibility to initiate positive change in communities?

Peer Conversation | Successful entrepreneurial families are not driven by mysterious forces – the inexplicable energy commentators vaguely describe as the “secret sauce” of a charmed existence. The actual ingredients – hard work and progressive attitudes – are more conventional. Yet as the world changes, so does the family, its attitudes towards enterprise and helping communities, as well as actions taken towards raising living standards. Impact-oriented Millennials are on the same page as philanthropic Boomers, but there is a rising discrepancy between words and actions. Family Coherence Mapping could bridge the gaps.

Education: Our Future and the Family Enterprise

  1. Why do learning champions matter?
  2. Why does family learning matter?
  3. What bearing does family education have on purpose, wealth and legacy?

Peer Conversation | Family learning champions, those who invest in lifelong education, have their work cut out. Clans that fully embrace their strategic value may have a continuity edge. Concentrating on the financial capital of a family has long been held up as surest path to build a legacy. New research suggests adding a focus on human and social capital further increases the probability of enterprise longevity and family wealth beyond the coveted third generation. We identify the effects family learning champions on legacy and purpose.

Taxation: Fair Share and the Family Enterprise

  1. Are family enterprises taxed fairly?
  2. Do family-owned enterprises suffer from lack of economic recognition?
  3. Is the health/economic crisis fundamentally changing the pattern of how families work together?

Peer Conversation | Family-owned enterprises account for half of Canada’s private sector GDP. Their economic impact is remarkable. So was Covid-19’s, for the wrong reasons. Now the federal government has earmarked $101 billion in new spending it says will help the country climb out of an economic hole. Will it? What share must entrepreneurial families bear? And as a collective economic engine, what say should families have? Higher deficits in the coming years will test the ability of governments to balance standards of living against spending cuts or tax increases. Families should flex their economic muscle as policy influencers.

Women’s Evolving Roles in Family Enterprises

Peer Conversation | Women in family enterprises are often unfairly perceived as low-key influencers, peacekeepers or business players conflicted by “obligations” to family. Yet as master storytellers and natural leaders, they are choosing more. They are boldly pursuing passions while bridging family and business, and leading from behind as much now from the forefront. Two generations of women will cross their perspectives.

Founding a Legacy

Peer Conversation | Successful entrepreneurs want to have influenced their successors to have made a lasting impact. Their hope is that they are honoured and remembered for their actions. Such thinking transcends wealth, power or influence. Legacy-makers strive to be stewards of the future – to be held up as good, forward-thinkers. How do they go about it? We’ll hear from those who have sought and found their paths.

Enabling the Next Generation

Peer Conversation | The good news: 78% of Canadian family business owners expect their offspring to eventually own the business, even though they may not run it. The bad news: Owners are worried NextGens are neither interested nor ready. While barriers to generational transfer and business continuity loom large, there are workable solutions. We’ll hear a wide spectrum of views and perspectives across multiple generations.

Championing Sustainable Development Goals in Family Enterprises

Peer Conversation | Taking their cue from the UN Sustainable Development Goals program, a blueprint of 17 global objectives to achieve a sustainable future, family businesses are helping the planet right here at home. Through a formal SDG-driven approach, enterprises are tacking issues such as environmental stewardship, social inclusion, intergenerational equity, and integrating best practices to build a better future. There’s a worthy path that families can forge – a “giving forward to society” approach – that we will explore in detail.

 

Pre-Register your spot today!