The effective family business board

Overview of ‘The effective family business board’

This workshop is designed for current and aspiring directors in private companies / family businesses, whether they serve in an executive or non-executive capacity. It will help them make an effective contribution to the work of the board by considering:
  • How private company and family business boards are structured, what they do and how they work
  • Roles and relationships in the family business boardroom
  • Board processes and effectiveness

The workshop is led by an expert in, and published author on, the governance of family and closely-held businesses.

Training objectives

At the end of this workshop each participant will have a much greater understanding of:
  • The governance of family businesses (and how they differ from public companies)
  • The roles and relationships at board level and their part in them
  • The work of the board and what and how to contribute to it


This effective family business board workshop has been designed primarily for recently-appointed directors (and those aspiring to a board position), although there are clear benefits to having the entire board take part.


A practical and pragmatic one-day workshop, featuring examples and case study work to ensure an appropriate balance between the practical and the theoretical.

Special features

This effective family business board workshop can be adapted to reflect the nature and concerns of your particular organisation.

The expert trainer

David is a consultant and trainer in corporate governance. He is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management and Corporate Governance at Wolverhampton Business School and was formerly Programme Director with IoD Director Development West Midlands (and was also a member of the Executive Committee and the Council of the Institute of Directors in Birmingham).

For sixteen of the twenty-five years he spent in manufacturing industry before joining the Business School in 1992, David held board level appointments, including nine years as Managing Director. He has experience of serving on the boards of a family company, of subsidiary companies within a UK plc and a foreign owned multinational, where he was a member of the European Management Group. Originally a market researcher, he has experience of setting up overseas joint ventures and has held personal responsibility for company disposals and acquisitions in the UK. He has wide experience of doing business in Europe.

His extensive practical experience is complemented by his academic work. He is visiting lecturer at two other Business Schools and lectures throughout the UK and abroad, recently in Russia, Hong Kong, the Caribbean and throughout Europe. He is also conducting doctoral research into the role of the non-executive director in private companies and has published on the role of company directors and the effectiveness of boards, especially in the context of family businesses and closely-held companies.

David is a very accomplished trainer, as the feedback from course participants shows:

‘Relaxed style but good engagement’

‘Well balanced and easy to follow’

‘Excellent – very thought-provoking’

‘Lots of opportunity to discuss content of the course’

‘Input will stimulate board discussion’

‘Really enjoyable – participative humorous style with obvious depth of knowledge to back it up’

‘Great pace – very inclusive style – good examples’

‘Good balance of quiz, case studies, video and notes’

‘Delivered a very complex subject extremely effectively’

‘More than met my objectives’

‘Brilliant course’

Course outline – ‘The effective family business board’

  1. Directing the family business
    • Governance and accountabilities in the family business
    • Key issues for family businesses:
        – Control
        – Succession
        – Retirement
        – Working with non-family directors
        – Family trusts
  2. The family business board
    • Family business board composition and structure
    • Family business board roles and relationships:
        – Chairman
        – Managing director
        – Finance director
        – Executive and non-executive directors
        – Advisors
    • Making changes
        – Recruitment search and selection
        – Appointments and removals
        – Motivation
    • Introducing the case study
  3. The work of the board
    • Strategic thinking and setting policy
    • Accountability and management oversight
    • Decision making and dilemmas at the board
    • Case study (continued)
  4. Creating an effective family business board
    • Process, procedure and rhythm at the board
    • Managing politics and building the team
    • Board appraisal and review
  5. Review
    • Case study review
    • Course review
    • Actions
    • Close

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