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Harvard Business Review – “Family Gravity” and Structured CEO Succession Key Drivers to Long-Term Success of Family Businesses

“Family gravity” and structured CEO succession are revealed as key factors determining the performance and longevity of family businesses in recent research by Egon Zehnder and the Family Business Network International. Executives at 50 of the world’s top family firms – mostly in the third or fourth generation – were interviewed by Egon Zehnder and Family Business Network International to discover how they unlock great leadership. The firms studied have at least one key family member at the center of their organization who preserves their clearly-defined values and common vision, write Sonny Iqbal and Jörg Ritter, co-leaders of Egon Zehnder’s global family-business advisory, and Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at Egon Zehnder, in an article for the Harvard Business Review. Top family firms also take a structured approach to CEO succession with a clear hierarchy for candidates: family first, internal talent second and external executives third, note the authors. Embracing these drivers positions family firms for accelerated growth and more resilient, long-term performance.

Read the full article: Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, Sonny Iqbal and Jörg Ritter: Leadership Lessons from Great Family Businesses, in the Harvard Business Review (April 2015).

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