In This Episode:
After interviewing Chris, I decided to split this interview into two parts.
Here are the questions I asked during my interview with Chris Eckrich:
- What is a family council?
- Who should/shouldn’t have a family council?
- What is the pre-work families need to do? What are a few of the objections to overcome?
- Your handbook has everything you need to start a family council– give us an overview on what we would need to do to get started.
A senior advisor of The Family Business Consulting Group, Chris Eckrich specializes in building leadership excellence and maintaining family unity in enterprising families. He assists family owned firms in preparing future owners and leaders, forging alignment on goals, and establishing orderly continuity plans that maximize effective leadership transition and prevent conflict during the transition. He also provides family members with skills and strategies to successfully manage working relationships and reduce the inherent conflict that is present when family members work together. In his work, Chris assists family owners in developing family agreements and, when needed, family constitutions.
Chris’s family history of entrepreneurship in meat processing and other industries provided the impetus for his commitment to the family business field. His clients include family businesses from a wide variety of business sectors and other asset-owning families. He has presented at national conferences and regularly gives seminars and workshops on family organization and governance, succession planning, building leadership, managing relationships, and preventing conflict in business and asset owning families. Chris has served on several review committees for the Family Firm Institute. He has published in academic and business publications, and co-authored The Family Council Handbook: How to Create, Run, and Maintain a Successful Family Business Council, a comprehensive resource for enterprising families seeking to organize themselves to achieve long-term family and business goals.
As an adjunct faculty member at The University of Notre Dame, Chris taught Family Enterprise Strategy to both MBA and undergraduate students, and has been involved in alumni education activities related to the topic. He also served as a founding advisor to a university-based education center for family business owners and their families, where he led the Next Generation Leaders group.
Chris and his wife, Carol Ann, live in Ft. Wayne, Indiana with their three children. They are actively involved in their community and their church in a variety of leadership activities.
Next Generation Education & Leadership Development
Succession & Continuity
Conflict & Communication Management
Family Council Development
Alignment Around Policies/Family Constitutions
Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Family Firm Institute
Chris received a B.B.A. in organizational behavior from Notre Dame and earned both a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Purdue University.
How to find Chris:
Resources From This Episode:
The Family Business Consulting Group
15 Lessons Family Councils Wish They Knew Before
The Family Council Handbook
How Family Business Champions Lead to Success with Joshua Nacht
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