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Let's Talk Family Enterprise

Jul 12, 2022


Welcome to Let’s Talk Family Enterprise, a podcast that explores the ideas, concepts and models that best serve Family Enterprise Advisors in supporting their clients.


All views, information and opinions expressed during this podcast are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Family Enterprise Canada.



Governance expert Matt Fullbrook speaks with host Steve Legler about the ways that family enterprises make decisions, whether informally or formally, and how there are so many ways that organizations can improve the ways that they set themselves up for success in an ever-changing world.


Guest bio

Matt Fullbrook is a board effectiveness researcher and consultant and is the manager of the David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at the Rotman School of Management. Under his direction, the Rotman School has evolved into the central hub of governance research in Canada.


As an independent consultant, Matt has advised dozens of boards of directors as an educator, facilitator, and researcher, helping them to maximize their effectiveness through the development and implementation of valuable governance processes, policies, and structures.


You can find out more about Matt Fullbrook on LinkedIn.


Key Takeaways

[0:26] Steve Legler welcomes today’s guest, Matt Fullbrook — Manager of the David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at the Rotman School of Management — and asks him to share a little about how the idea behind his most recent interview came about: “To Make Boards Work Better, Look to Family Enterprises?”


[1:45] Matt offers up his preferred definition of governance and highlights the words he specifically didn’t use in that definition. He touches on the advantages of creative and innovative freedom family enterprises benefit from in that regard.


[6:11] Counterprogramming is a tool Matt uses to give permission. He explains what this means as well as why sometimes exaggeration can work in your favor.


[9:16] Matt touches on some of the challenges executives face when it comes to how decisions are made in their enterprises and it’s got more to do with our workspaces and habits than we might think.


[10:41] Either new generations are more flexible or they’re being better prepared for leadership, Matt shares his thoughts on the new workforce when it comes to governance.


[13:52] Matt speaks about the inclusion aspects of decision-making and the need to try many different configurations in order to optimize the inclusion of many different perspectives.


[17:44] Matt’s thoughts on the Chair and their role in inclusivity as well as the natural tendencies of people pushing their agenda or needing to have information pulled from them.


[20:21] Setting up boards differently presents challenges because of the natural tendency of people to look for answers and conventions. Matt shares some of the ways he circumvents those in his own advisory practice.


[25:27] In cases where the client is looking for a technical “right” answer and there isn’t one, Matt offers that reframing the question might be the only solution.


[27:54] Generic tools make Matt nervous!


[29:40] Matt shares his advice for advisors and a book recommendation.


[34:30] Steve thanks Matt for joining us and sharing his knowledge and perspective on governance.


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Mentioned in this episode

The Let’s Talk Family Enterprise podcast is brought to you by Family Enterprise Canada.


To Make Boards Work Better, Look to Family Enterprises?


Matt’s reading recommendation: Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, by Randall Munroe


More about Family Enterprise Canada

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