Working with your family brings its own unique brand of joy and difficulty. It’s in this space that the Cox Family Enterprise Center at the Coles College of Business operates, and the services offered there could help your family business flourish.
The CFEC’s mission is to act as an intellectual and practical hub for the family enterprise community: family members, nonfamily business executives, external advisors, and students. Their services include specialized programming, educational events, research, the Family Business Clinic, and individual consulting. Issues covered: skill-building, communication, conflict management, governance/structure, systems/protocols, and business growth.
“Since our founding, we have come to learn that family businesses should not be run like their nonfamily-owned counterparts,” the CFEC website notes. “This is largely due to the fact that family businesses have many unique qualities that, when properly leveraged, can lead to extraordinary performance. It is for these reasons our teachings often are in direct contrast to traditional business classes, as we want you to avoid the undesirable results that are often associated with family businesses following traditional business practices.”
Family-run businesses can be held back from full success because of a variety of interpersonal dynamics, CFEC Executive Director Gaia Marchisio explains, including vicious loops of poor communication, difficulty understanding each other, inability to manage conflict, and behaviors that bring out the worst in each other.
That’s where the CFEC comes in. Marchisio says, CFEC is a place that helps family businesses become the best versions of themselves and reach their full potential. This means that CFEC team members spend a lot of time understanding who the family business is and tailoring the help to what they need.
In addition to directly helping the family business themselves, CFEC has also started specific training programs to equip advisors who work with family-run businesses to understand the unique dynamics.
“Families work with many advisors, namely CPAs, financial advisors, insurance agents, and lawyers, and not all of them have training on why family businesses are different,” Marchisio says.
CFEC was the first of its kind and the oldest family business center in the world, and in November, it will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of its launch with a gala event. More details will be available soon, but if interested, save the date: November 7, 2017; 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Flourish Atlanta, 3143 Maple Drive, Atlanta, GA 30305.
For more information about CFEC and to inquire about events/programming, consulting opportunities, or the Family Business Clinic, visit http://coles.kennesaw.edu/coles-overview/centers-and-institutes/cox-family-enterprise-center/.