Part 1, NextGen Series: Developing an Owner's Mindset
Enterprising families may mistakenly believe that skills necessary for effective ownership develop naturally over time or are absorbed from other owners through osmosis. That is simply not true. Additionally, while specific knowledge and skills are necessary for realizing the gains from truly effective ownership, they are not sufficient. To build effective owners (and owner teams), we believe that families should work to develop an “owner’s mindset.” A mindset is a set of beliefs, which drive and shape what we do, how we engage with others, and how we behave in every moment and situation.
During this presentation, we’ll define both family business ownership and an owner’s mindset. Then, we’ll discuss an approach to developing an owner’s mindset – for current and prospective owners, operating and non-operating owners, baby and “seasoned” owners alike.
Keynote Speaker: Barbara Dartt, DVM, MS, Family Business Consulting Group
Barb’s path to family business consulting is based in very traditional roots. Growing up, she watched her grandfather and father provide educational extension services to family-owned farms. Her interest in serving farm families led her to study veterinary medicine, earning her doctoral degree from Michigan State University in 1996.
In 1998, Barb earned a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at MSU where she worked as a graduate research assistant, then as a Farm Business Management Specialist. She continued her family legacy as a third-generation extension agent working closely with family farms to enhance their business practices, develop management skills and identify growth opportunities.
Drawing from her strengths as a financial and strategic advisor, Barb focused her career on supporting the distinctive needs of family business entrepreneurs as a senior business consultant for Salisbury Management Services (later named Lookout Ridge Consulting) in 2001. She later became a founding partner of GROW, a family business advisory firm serving a wide range of sectors from agriculture and manufacturing to professional services.
In 2014, Barb joined FBCG to leverage her extensive advising experience to work with family enterprises across industries. According to a client, “Without Barb’s help, we wouldn’t have made the progress much needed on our decision making and family relationships.” Barb does this work for the thrill of watching the talents of individual family members get recognized and brought to bear for the betterment of their families and businesses.
She earned the Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute in 2014. She has also recently served as board director and President of the Michigan FFA Foundation.
Barb lives in the East Lansing, Michigan area with her husband and three children where she enjoys cooking, reading, and cheering on her favorite high school and college basketball teams.