Dennis T. Jaffe, PhD

Helping Enterprising Families

Resources for Family Governance & Leadership Across Generations

Succeeding as a family business over generations is an incredible challenge few families manage well. Over a 40-year career, as professor, organizational consultant and family therapist I have helped families with a family business, family office or family foundation, overcome personal, organizational and governance challenges that get in the way of successful and fulfilling generational transfer of businesses, wealth, values, commitments and legacies. My research, writing, and practice tools have helped define the field of consulting about family business and wealth.

These complex challenges cannot be resolved quickly or easily. When a family achieves alignment around its vision, magical things can happen. When they make the commitment to work together, I help work with them to develop a roadmap towards the future, and develop the skills, agreements and practices that make their journey successful.

Family Consulting & Education

A family business consultant works with the family to build the family vision, agreements and infrastructure to make the transformations necessary to build a strong, vibrant and energized next generation. The consultant helps the family become an aligned family team where each person understands and acknowledges their roles and responsibilities, and which builds on all forms of family “capital” to thrive for another generation. I work with families large and small over time to make this happen.

Family Meetings

Coming together as a
Cross-Generational Team

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Building a Culture of
Family Sustainability

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Succession Planning

Designing for a lifetime of
Multiple Generations

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Advisor Education

Guiding institutions for
Effective Leadership

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Resources & Tools

For many years, I have sought to create accessible, practical tools and resources that help global family enterprises navigate the rough waters of crossing generations. This section offers a selection from my work, most of which can be used and downloaded at no cost. I welcome feedback and comments from my readers.

Articles & Working Papers

A full library of the papers I’ve written related to Family Wealth and the Advisors who work with them

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Publications & Tools

A selection of my most sought after publications and cross-generational tools for effective family meetings

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My work with families helps inform financial advisors and wealth managers about the knowledge and skills needed to serve their client families. I’m an acclaimed speaker and workshop leader in programs for business families and financial service firms.

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This book explains the practical, commonsense strategies that families in each culture can use to resolve the differences threatening the fabric of the family.
This book offers practical guidance for families moving across generations by sharing practices, skills and activities that can help them along this path.
Acclaimed guide for families about the challenges of working together—how to deal with conflict, succession, work roles, planning for the future and other predictable aspects of combining work and family.

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Featured Thinking

Cross Cultures: How Global Families Negotiate Change Across Generations

Dennis Jaffe and Jim Grubman have released their most recent collaboration Cross Cultures: How Global Families Negotiate Change Across Generations. The book discusses a deepening of the understanding of family wealth and family enterprises citing theories coming out of cross-cultural psychology and negotiation strategies. Furthering these ideas, the book explains how three main culture types around the world, Individualist, Collective Harmony, and Honor cultures, differ from each other along important dimensions of communication, family orientation, trust building, authority, leadership, and decision-making.

Recent articles in Tharawat magazine and the STEP Journal, outlining the concepts and recommendations in Cross Cultures, published in November 2015.

Releasing the Potential of the Rising Generation: How Long-Lasting Family Enterprises Prepare Their Successors

This is the third working paper in the 100 Year Family Enterprise Research Project. Releasing the Potential shares the experiences of how families are developing, educating and engaging the “human capital” to create a new generation of family leadership.

Following is a webinar presented by Trusted Family, that introduces the key ideas from this paper: