Olin offers new Executive Education program for family businesses, ‘Building Strategic Ownership’

  • November 14, 2022
  • By Jill Young Miller
  • 2 minute read

Many executive education programs focus on building tools for effective management and leadership. Owners of closely held businesses, however, have a different set of concerns—specifically, how to be a strategic and purposeful owner.

For the first time, Olin Executive Education is offering the course “Building Strategic Ownership” via the Koch Center for Family Business. Registration for the January 11-12 course is open now.

“Strategic ownership over a longtime horizon is difficult.” said Peter Boumgarden, Koch Professor of Practice for Family Enterprise and director of the Koch Center.


“In a world of quarterly returns, thinking with time horizons of decades or more requires a different set of skills. While many owners have refined their ability through experience over time, having the opportunity to learn from others on this same path and simultaneously be informed by what we know from the research on best practices can be incredibly powerful.”

The course will work with owners to build competence and capability. It will focus on bringing together owners from different sectors and sizes, and then helping them work to define their unique purpose of ownership. With this purpose in mind, the group with work together and with faculty to build ownership competence specific to this goal, and to then think about how they might work to craft a portfolio aligned with this objective with an extended time horizon.

In Boumgarden’s view, the best way to approach the course would be to come as a team, mixing family owners with senior leaders and members of the board.

“It takes a village to do this work well,” he said. “Most of the organizations who would benefit from this course have a bundle of individuals—family and nonfamily, owners and employees—who must coordinate how they approach building an organization for sustainability. The value is crafting owner competence as a collective.”

The organizers encourage teams of two to three from the same business to register, and those teams will receive tuition discounts on the $2,200 course. The course is designed for single owners or senior leaders of a closely held business and leadership teams. A team could consist of two family members and a board member, for example, or a senior nonfamily leader.

“By the end of the program, you’ll be better positioned to create long-term value for the firm in the position you are capable of­—that of a strategic business owner,” Boumgarden said.

Click here to watch a short video about the course.

About the Author

Jill Young Miller

Jill Young Miller

As research translator for WashU Olin Business School, my job is to highlight professors’ research by “translating” their work into stories. Before coming to Olin, I was a communications specialist at WashU’s Brown School. My background is mostly in newspapers including as a journalist for Missouri Lawyers Media, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida.

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