How have you seen the family enterprise field change/evolve in the last 25 years —or time frame of your choice?
The different disciplines that work with family businesses use concepts that have gone through a genuine process of evolution in recent times. Twenty years ago, the priorities of the field focused more on aspects of management and organization. We could see, for example, a major effort to define the legal and fiscal frameworks surrounding the family business. There was a lot more concern for the analysis of the product, as an object. Today, the general trend of the field gives more importance to the process, the system, the relational, and the issues you cannot measure in a family business. The recognition of the "soft side" and the role of family’s culture as the main motivators of organizational behavior have broadened the understanding of complexity beyond the seemingly obvious.
How has your own advising/consulting/research changed and evolved in that time frame?
The development of the practice of my own consultancy has been evolving as well. The weight and the importance we attach to family relationships have increased over the years, to the point that many of the interventions carried out today with my clients, have their center on increasing the functionality that can be generated in the links established in the sub-systems between parents and children and between groups of siblings.
How would you characterize FFI’s evolution during this same period?
The vision of the Family Firm Institute is broadened and deepened constantly, thanks to the contribution of different specialties that are added to each discipline of origin, the various citizenship of its members and the knowledge as a product of the exchange of experiences of its members, who has worried over all these years to make a significant contribution to the welfare of family businesses worldwide.
Looking into your crystal ball, what do you predict for the next 25 years?
I think in the next 25 years will witness an increased recognition of the importance of the family business by leading authorities worldwide as a key factor in human development, sustained progress and wealth creation as well as a sensible improvement in management practices of those families who lead their own companies.