Thoughts On Co-Chairing The Cornell San Francisco Family Business Roundtable

I was pleased to Co-Chair the recent Cornell Family Business Roundtable “Family Business Conflict: From the Inside and Out” at the Hult International Business School in downtown San Francisco on April 5. We had very insightful comments and discussions throughout the entire day at Hult's wonderful facilities.

Our expert faculty included Co-Chair Doug Baumoel, MBA of Continuity Family Business Consulting in Boston, Joan DiFuria, psychologist and MFCC of the Money, Meaning and Choices Institute in the Bay Area, Dr. Isabelle Lescent-Giles, economist, Professor of Global Strategy and Family Business at Hult, and Dr. Dennis Jaffe, organizational systems and sociology, of Wise Counsel Research in San Francisco. The program was terrifically organized and supported by Dann Van Der Vliet, Executive Director of the Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Our discussion panels included “Understanding Identity Based Conflict”, “Proactive Conflict Avoidance vs Reactive Dispute Resolution”, “Emotional Triggers for Conflict: Communicating with Lower Risk”, “Cultural Differences in Conflict Management” and “Facilitating Cross Generational Conversations”.

Attendees included a mix of experienced U.S. family business owners as well as international business students from Cornell and Hult, planning to return to their family businesses in foreign countries including India, the Philippines, Cambodia, Colombia, Argentina, Democratic Republic of the Congo and France. Their personal stories were fascinating and inspiring.