As practitioners and academics, we believe it is important to reflect on our cases and to share our key learnings.

Five Sisters and Two Executors: A Case Study – FFI Practitioner  (2021)

Vijay Sathe, Alfredo Enrione and Donna Finley

“… Trustees appointed because they have earned the complete confidence of the Family Business Leader may abuse this trust in their self-interest.”

Stuart Campbell was a self-made Australian billionaire.

Most of his wealth was tied up in one of the country’s largest mines, but he was also partial owner of a film production company in the UK, a tech start-up in Silicon Valley, and a number of smaller companies around the world. Stuart was not much for governance, organization structure, or formal systems.

Stuart was married and had five daughters. The first two, in their late 30s, had worked in their father’s businesses in administrative roles and had left the firm when they got married and had children. The other three daughters were all single. The third daughter was a successful op-ed writer on political issues who published under a pseudonym in order to protect the family name, and the two youngest were finishing college.

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Leveraging the value of female directors – Ethical Boardroom (2019)

Alfredo Enrione, Donna Finley and Gordon Allan

“Why do women directors regularly receive lower peer evaluations than men? the truth is, it has little to do with performance…

While there is still a lot of room for improvement, corporate boards around the world are finally tackling the gender bias in their composition. Fortune 100 corporates have increased female director representation from 19.6 per cent in 2011 to 25.7 per cent in 2018. Most noticeably, corporations, such as GM, Viacom and Best Buy, are going beyond the 50 per cent threshold for female board seats, even in countries without mandatory quotas imposed by law, including Norway, Finland, and Italy.

Yet, a dark secret seldom told – and which the authors have experienced first-hand in different parts of the world – is that female directors tend to receive poorer evaluations than their male peers. However, these lower evaluations have much more to do with board culture and biases than with women’s performance per se.”

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Phoenix in Calgary: How the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Survived Bankruptcy and Flourished – Nonprofit Quarterly (2006)

Donna Finley, Alana Gralen, and Larry Fichtner

“Behind a thin patina of business as usual, the picture was quite dire.

When the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO), Canada’s fifth largest orchestra, sought bankruptcy protection on October 15, 2002, the predominant view of both funders and public was that the orchestra should not be saved.

Giuseppe Mazzini once wrote, “Music is the harmonious voice of creation; an echo of the invisible world.” In other words, music is there to be made and it has a will to be realized. In this case, that will exerted itself through those involved with this orchestra.”

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Reflections of a Solo Operator – Part V Manage Your Career (2008)

Donna Finley for Vijay Sathe

“The solo operator is a challenging and rewarding way to channel a set of unique skills and appetite for change. As professionals mature through their career cycle, the opportunity to become a solo operator increases. However, experience is not the central component of this role, rather, internal drive, leadership acumen, and ability to adapt quickly frequently are essential qualities for this career to succeed.

As there are many types of solo operators, I want to begin by describing the type of solo operator that I have been for the last 28 years. I have worked as a solo operator with organizations through a variety of different contractual arrangements. I have been brought into solve problems, and to navigate challenges and opportunities to take organizations to the next level of success.

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Published Articles & Book Chapters

Professional Journals