FOX Recommended Reading List

Family Office Exchange (FOX) is pleased to present this year’s recommended Book List—a selection of books chosen by the FOX community of ultra-wealthy families and their advisors. These books are listed in alphabetical order and grouped by the following categories: Family Wealth and Purpose; Family Culture and Governance; Leadership Succession; Business Legacy; Investments and Impact; Philanthropy; and Risk Management. 

Family Wealth and Purpose
Aged Healthy, Wealthy and Wise
Coventry Edwards-Pitt, 2017, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
There is much about aging that we can’t control, but there is much more that we can. Drawing on many years of professional experience, Coventry Edwards-Pitt interviews vibrant elders and brings to life the daily choices they are making that allow them to live content, engaged, and purposeful later lives and design legacies of meaning. Throughout the book are stories and tools for the readers to use as a guide to help ensure that their family experiences their later years as a gift, and not as a burden.
 
Bridging Generations: Transitioning Family Wealth and Values for a Sustainable Legacy
Amy A. Castoro and Roy O. Williams, 2017, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Seventy percent of family wealth transfers fail, but it doesn’t have to be this way. This book provides you with insight, strategies, and compelling stories on how your wealth can be successfully passed on from one generation to the next with the family unity intact. You will benefit from learning how true wealth is more than an impressive financial balance sheet; how to put the family center and front; and how to establish the five pillars to create a successful wealth transfer and succession for your family. This is a book every successful leader who will transfer wealth, and every professional advisor, and those who stands to inherit significant wealth would benefit from reading.
 
Complete Family Wealth cover
James E. Hughes, 2017, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Family wealth can sometimes feel like more of a burden than a blessing. Developing the right understanding, character, and structures can improve family enterprise management and protect all your family’s capital from whatever the world throws your way. This book provides the answers you need along with guidance and strategy for keeping your family’s complete wealth intact.
 
	 Wealth of Wisdom: The Top 50 Questions Wealthy Families Ask - cover
Tom McCullough and Keith Whitaker, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Wealth of Wisdom offers essential guidance and tools to help high-net-worth families successfully manage significant wealth. By compiling the 50 most common questions surrounding protection and growth, this book provides a compendium of knowledge from experts around the globe and across disciplines. Deep insight and thoughtful answers put an end to uncertainty and help lay to rest the issues high-net-worth families have been wrestling with for years. By divulging central lessons and explaining practical actions that can be taken today, this book gives the critical information you need to make more informed decisions about your financial legacy. 
 

Family Culture and Governance

Option B Cover

 

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Even after experiencing the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in life. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. 

 
Resilience of 100-Year Family Enterprises: How Opportunistic Innovation, Business Discipline, and a Culture of Stewardship Guide the Journey Across Generations
Dennis T. Jaffe Ph.D, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Successful family enterprises are incredible engines for generating wealth an expressing the owning family’s values about business and the community. These values may be expressed through the quality of their goods and services, relationships with employees, business and community, and philanthropy. But only a small fraction of the families that create businesses are able to sustain them for more than a single generation. While few family enterprises reach the milestone of spanning over three or more generations, the families that do are resilient and pursue business opportunities together while passing their legacy values, culture, and resources to each new generation. 

 
The Family Board Meeting: You Have 18 Summers to Create Lasting Connection with Your Children - cover
Jim Sheils, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
If you could do one thing that you knew would dramatically strengthen your family in just a few hours, would you do it? That’s the question posed in this easy-to-follow guide to reconnecting with your children. In this guide, you will discover the powerful strategy and steps that promise to connect you more deeply with your children; reduce "screen sucking" and device dependence; make each child in your family feel important and unique; help you feel more open and authentic with your children; increase your happiness at home; and build an enduring family legacy of connection and memories. No matter where you are in the 18 summers, start today.
 
Leadership Succession
Effective Succession Planning Cover
William J. Rothwell, 2015, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Organizations that don't take steps to address future talent needs at all levels will face certain disruptions, and even disasters, when key employees leave. The most comprehensive book on the subject, Effective Succession Planning helps readers identify competencies and clarify organizational values, plan for and quickly fill crucial vacancies at all levels, assess current needs and future resources for seamless succession planning.
 
Measure What Matters Cover
John Doerr, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
In the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), objectives define what you seek to achieve, and key results are how those top-priority goals will be attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time frame. The benefits of OKRs are profound, including keeping employees on track and linking objectives across silos to unify and strengthen the entire company. Along the way, OKRs enhance workplace satisfaction and boost retention. Doerr shares a broad range of first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies, with narrators including Bono and Bill Gates, to demonstrate the focus, agility, and explosive growth that OKRs have spurred at so many great organizations. 
 
 Passing the Torch: Preserving Family Wealth Beyond the Third Generation - Cover
Ilze Alberts, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Families need to have vision and foresight to sustain the family’s capital throughout generations. Unfortunately, many of them build wealth effectively but find, near the end of their lives, that it has little sustainability to prepare the next generations that will be the beneficiaries of their hard work. Passing the Torch teaches high net-worth families how to foster a strong family dynamic to be truly generational. First-generation wealth creators will learn how to create a culture of sustainability and growth and endow subsequent generations with the tools and mindset necessary to prosper.
 
Successful Global Leadership: Frameworks for Cross-Cultural Managers and Organizations - Cover
Ramon Henson, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Drawing on the latest research findings, interviews with executives, and the author’s own teaching and consulting experience, this book offers practical frameworks for anyone hoping to become a successful global leader, and outlines the challenges the international firms face when managing across cultures. It highlights the cognitive, affective, and behavioral actions leaders can take to understand the differences between foreign values and traditions, and how to develop an environment where global leadership can thrive.
 
The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for Becoming an Exemplary Leader - Cover
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Tailors a real-world leadership model to students’ unique needs and provides a proven pathway to success. Based on The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, this book merges solid research with personal stories from real-world student leaders to help students develop the critical skills they need to lead both now and after graduation. Useful from high school to graduate school and beyond, these lessons are reinforced by reflective and critical thinking activities to help students internalize important concepts while honestly assessing their own practices.
 
The Talent Manifesto: How Disrupting People Strategies Maximizes Business Results RJ Heckman - Cover
RJ Heckman, Ph.D, 2017, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Identifies common dysfunctions in the world of talent management and presents innovative methods for bringing any HR department up to speed in today’s increasingly digitized and innovative business space. A top leader at Korn Ferry’s Hay Group, RJ Heckman helps you solve the major HR issues you’re facing today. You’ll learn how to make a direct link between talent and business strategies; create and use accurate, trustworthy data for making high-stakes hiring, promotion, and retention decisions; and provide instructions on what leaders and their organizations should "start, stop, or continue" to do to be more competitive. Readers will also learn how industry leaders are using artificial intelligence and cutting-edge HR technologies to bring new talent insights and labor-saving efficiencies to recruiting, engagement and learning, and development.
 
Business Legacy
Family Business Mastery Cover
Ivan Polic and Mariana Polic, 2017, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Provides insightful and practical tools you need to build a sustainable family enterprise. Moreover, Family Business Mastery shows you how to do it while nurturing and maintaining a level of trust and respect between the generations. Ivan Polic and Mariana Polic draw on their own direct experience and teach you how to avoid the death spiral of conflict; how to uncover invisible and dangerous family dynamics; how to unearth your Success DNA—the unique heartbeat of your company’s achievements; and how to navigate the succession process. The authors invite you to examine the past, present, and potential future of your business, and show you how you can leverage your findings to ensure that your family business—and family relationships—flourish, securing your future and your legacy. 
 
 How to Make Your Family Business Last
Mitzi Perdue, 2017, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Only 30 percent of family business will make it to the next generation. The fact that so many businesses fail to make the transition to the next generation—the usual cause is family strife—means problems not only for the families involved, but for the entire global economy. In How to Make Your Family Business Last, Mitzi Perdue addresses the issue. She gives practical advice on how a family businesses can develop a culture that supports keeping the family business in the family. Her I've-lived-it experience comes from membership in two long-lasting family enterprises.
 
Managing the Family Business Cover
Thomas Zellweger, 2017, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
This innovative textbook covers the most important managerial challenges facing family businesses. It is research-based and includes theory and practice along with concepts, cases and reflection questions to illustrate the key topics. Awarded Best Book of the Year Award by the European Academy of Management in 2018.  
 
Family Champions and Champion Families:  Developing Family Leaders to Sustain the Family Enterprise - Cover
Joshua Nacht and Gregory Greenleaf, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
What makes successful family businesses flourish through multiple generations despite challenges? More important, how can you learn from the experiences of what Joshua Nacht and Gregory Greenleaf call champion family businesses? This book offers clear examples, practice tips and specific advice to start working on championship elements in your family. Each chapter ends with questions for you to consider, based on the material you’ve just read, to stimulate your thinking about championship ideas and issues related to your situation. The wisdom from these winning families and their stories can guide you around common obstacles and provide inspiration to your business family, regardless of its size or complexity.
 

Investments and Impact
Capitalism Without Capital Cover
Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake, 2017, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Early in the twenty-first century, a quiet revolution occurred. For the first time, the major developed economies began to invest more in intangible assets, like design, branding, R&D, and software, than in tangible assets, like machinery, buildings, and computers. For all sorts of businesses, from tech firms and pharma companies to coffee shops and gyms, the ability to deploy assets that one can neither see nor touch is increasingly the main source of long-term success.
 
The Culture Key: Successful Investing and Entrepreneurship in Frontier and Emerging Markets - Cover
Curt G. Laird, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Why do so many investors fail in frontier and emerging markets? How can entrepreneurs increase their odds of success in developing economies? In The Culture Key, Curt Laird explores the idea that entrepreneurs and investors in these markets struggle not because they lack business acumen, but because they do not develop intercultural intelligence. The book introduces the Belief Tool—a lens to identify, interpret, and respond to the cultures in new markets. If you can decode the dominant worldviews, cultural dimensions, and mindsets that shape behavior, you can navigate cultural minefields with confidence—whether you’re determining where to invest, negotiating a critical deal, or building a high-performance team. 
 
Philanthropy
Money Well Spent Cover
Paul Brest and Hal Harvey, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Today, results-driven philanthropy is more important than ever, and behind every successful grant is a smart strategy. Paul Brest and Hal Harvey draw on the experiences of hundreds of foundations and non-profits to present the essential tools that will help readers create and test effective plans for achieving demonstrable results. They tackle thorny issues, such as how to choose among different forms of funding, how to measure progress, and when to abandon a project that isn’t working. Money Well Spent, is an award-winning guide on how to structure philanthropy so that it really makes a difference, offers a comprehensive and crucial resource for individual donors, foundations, non-profits, and scholars who focus on and teach others about this realm.
 
Transnational Philanthropy Cover
Thomas Adam, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 

The Mond and Brunner families, well known to business historians as pioneers of the British chemical industry, are being studied here for the first time as philanthropists, and it is an astonishing story that Thomas Adam has to tell. Several generations of the Monds gave the wealth they had made in chemicals away most generously for the fine arts and museums, for hospitals and medical research, and for archaeological institutes and scientific explorations. This book will be indispensable not only to all scholars of philanthropy but also of family history and of transnational socio-economic networks that developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe and North America. 
 

Risk Management
Global Risk Agility Cover
Daniel Wagner and Dante Disparte, 2018, adapted description from Amazon.com
 
Set against the era of manmade risk, where transnational terrorism, cyber risk, and climate change are making traditional risk models increasingly obsolete, Daniel Wagner and Dante Disparte demonstrate that remaining passively on the side-lines of the global economy is dangerous, and that understanding and actively engaging the world is central to achieving risk agility. The concept of risk agility is brought to life through a series of case studies that cut across industries, countries, and the public and private sectors. Readers will learn how risk management is being transformed from a business prevention function to a values-based framework for thriving in increasingly perilous times. 
 

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