Education for Professional Advisors

Advising for Continuity:
Forging New Pathways in Family Enterprise Advising

As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know… It is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.

Donald Rumsfeld

Family Enterprise dynamics are not always simple. Misaligned objectives, insufficient or ineffective communication, internal conflicts, inconsistent standards, and a myriad of other pitfalls can hinder the legacy building and succession process. For advisors, no matter how much experience they have, these complex spheres often remain opaque, which makes it difficult to both craft solutions that serve the needs of the entire family system and feel confident when working through challenging family dynamics.

  • As experts with a successful track record in technical knowledge, professional advisors might underestimate the limits to the ability to accurately assess what is known, and more importantly, realize how much is yet unknown about their clients.

    Research shows that unknown unknowns are a sneaky and very common trap, above all for experts, called intellectual blind spots, to which we are especially prone when it comes to complex systems, as family enterprises are. This means that we think we know how family enterprises work, but all we know is how to work family enterprises. Sometimes we can’t see where our understanding ends until long after advisors and/or their clients skipped over the cliff edge. Those who never had this experience, are either geniuses, or only ever advise about topics they have genuine expertise with, or they have a bad case of the unknown unknowns.

    Here the good news: The Cox Family Enterprise Center's inter-disciplinary program, Advising for Continuity, offers tools to reduce these blind spots, and be able to navigate these complexities that will make you a more effective advisor. In the program, we will rattle the foundations of some of the most pervasive beliefs of the Family Business advising world, facilitating the formation of new perspectives and techniques for diving into the family enterprise ecosystems. Our reframing of the field will offer dynamic, panoramic insights into the intricate nature of family enterprises, and the ways that you – whether you are a banker, lawyer, accountant, insurance advisor, wealth advisor, consultant, family therapist or a trusted family insider – can guide your clients with greater perspective. Using the family as the hub, we will dive deeply into the ways that your high-level expertise can better service the families you work with.

    Expert and globally renowned faculty will guide you through case studies, research, and dialogue for new knowledge that will transform the way that you work with your family enterprise clients. The program will show you how to apply a lens of continuity to the Three Critical Success Factors of any family enterprise, and rethink the roles of family dynamics, strategy and governance in the context of advising.

    At the Cox Family Enterprise Center, we eagerly wade into the challenges and complexities of Family Enterprises to bring you innovative strategies, new techniques, and industry-changing perspectives.

    Join us and evolve your advising strategies.


Watch this short video and hear firsthand from Katherine Dunlevie, Managing Director of Synovus Family Asset Management Group, on her experience in Advising for Continuity (AFC).

AFC, is a unique educational program for family business advisors looking to fine tune their relationship skills to better serve business families, is offered through the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University. Participants develop their skills and learn new models and tools to use when consulting and advising family enterprise clients.

Katherine Dunlevie"The AFC program has been the best training I've encountered specific to my role as a family office executive. It's the missing link in training that I've been looking for and plan to have my entire team complete it."

Katherine Dunlevie
SVP and Managing Director, Synovus Family Asset Management

Advising for Continuity:
Forging New Pathways in Family Enterprise Advising

Registration Open 

  • Save the Dates: November 5 – 9, 2018

    November 5 – 7:00 - 4:30
    November 6 – 7:00 - 8:30 *
    November 7 – 7:00 - 4:30
    November 8 – 7:00 - 8:30 *
    November 9 - 7:00 – 2:00

    * - includes a two and a half hour break at 4:30

    KSU Center
    Executive Classroom 402 except November 9 will be in 462
    3333 Busbee Drive (North Entrance)
    Kennesaw, GA  30144

    For More Information
    470-578-6045 or

  • A room block for participants has been reserved at:
    Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Kennesaw Town Center
    6220 Chastain Road
    Kennesaw, GA 20144
    Phone +1-770-420-3505
    Fax +1-770-420-2503

    Group Name : KSU Professional Advisors
    Group Code: PRV
    Check-in: November 4, 2018
    Check-out: November 9, 2018

    Group Name: KSU Professional Advisors
    Group Code: PRV
    Check-in: 04-NOV-2018
    Check-out: 08-NOV-2018

    To make your reservations click here:
    Embassy Suites for AFC

  • Registration is now open. Group discounts available for two or more from the same company who register. For more information please contact Lanie Jordan, Director, at, 470-578-3539. Click here to register.
  • Marjorie Blum, Ph.D.
    Visiting Scholar, Cox Family Enterprise Center

    Judi Cunningham, MA, FEA
    Visiting Scholar, Cox Family Enterprise Center
    Founder of the Institute of Family Enterprise Advisors (IFEA)

    Gaia Marchisio, Ph.D.
    Executive Director, Cox Family Enterprise Center
    Aronoff Professor of Family Business

    Michael N. McGrann
    Managing Principal, The TELOS Group

    Wendy Sage-Hayward, M.A., M.Sc., FEA
    Consultant, Family Business Consulting Group