Cranfield to assist family businesses


With many catering equipment distributors being family-run firms, a new course from Cranfield School of Management and Withers Consulting Group could be just what is required.

The pair has teamed up to launch a specialist 2-day programme for current and aspiring non-executive directors from all business backgrounds, including catering equipment.

The Non-Executive Director Programme for Family Businesses is designed to provide participants with an understanding of the non-executive director role, its place in a family business and an awareness of the skills required to fulfil it.

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The aim on completion of the programme is that participants will recognise the role of a non-executive director and be more effective when helping family businesses to achieve success.

The programme, running from 8-9 October, will cover topics including the unique features of family companies, the dynamic between a business, the family and ownership dimensions, the life cycle of a family business, and insight from non-executive director and family business speakers.

Successful applicants will receive 2 days’ tuition, all course materials, full board accommodation at Cranfield and lifelong access to Alumni Membership benefits.

Ken McCracken, co-founder of Withers Consulting Group, which will support the programme with its extensive family business experience, said: “Non-executive directors can add value to a family enterprise in several ways. They bring outside experience and independent judgement to major matters requiring board decisions. They can act as a link between the board and the shareholders, provide the benefit of their personal contacts and help to ensure that the overall governance of a family enterprise operates effectively.

“This programme has been specially created to ensure that it addresses the practicalities of family business NED roles, as contrasted with the wider role of an NED.”

Programme director Dr Ruth Bender, reader in corporate financial strategy at Cranfield School of Management, added: “We have been running successful NED programmes at Cranfield for many years, but the family environment is unique, and we decided that a bespoke course was the only way to address that. Partnering with Withers Consulting Group meant that we could add its knowledge to our own, to create something original that gives great value to those attending.”

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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