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Project phoenix: the way ahead

Bill gordon sits on the FBN's steering committee and board.

Entering a new phase in growth and development

The way ahead for FBN International is challenging, exciting and will be more rewarding for our members across our growing global network. We are embracing change with a real sense of positive energy, shaped by the forward thinking proposals developed by the Steering Group, set up after the board meeting in October 2003.

We are entering a new phase in the growth and development of our organisation, which is natural in our evolution and essential to our long-term prosperity.

Positive spirit
FBN has grown significantly over the past 15 years from a small group of family business owners and academics to become the largest independent network of family businesses in the world. It was a visionary move to get FBN off the ground in the first place and the same vision, sense of purpose and duty to our members to fly higher.

This is no accident, and our growth and development have been driven by the power of our distinctive FBN networking and learning experiences both at an international level through our annual conference and at a local level through our chapter events. The passion and commitment of our members, our board, our executive committee, our chapter presidents and other key stakeholders have also played a major part in taking FBN to where we are today.

Managing our growth and development in a way that harnesses the strengths of FBN; delivering outstanding services to our members at all levels was the core challenge for the Steering Group.

Positive collaboration
It is so easy to fall into the trap of drifting apart when managing the development of a global network. This is especially true when working within the more conservative financial resources of a business-to-business membership network. The cultural diversity of the FBN is a major asset both locally and internationally, but it also creates challenges in ensuring close collaboration between the chapters and central office.

The Steering Group brought together a powerful mix of input, ideas and experience from across the chapter network, central office and the board. The mandate was comprehensive and looked ahead to the next 15 years in the life of FBN. We had input from all parts of the organisation and a very positive dynamic around the table – exceeding everyone's expectations.

Unlocking more potential is always an immensely positive experience. We could not have come so far without the ongoing support of our board, our executive committee, our central office and our chapter presidents, all of whom have been right behind this initiative from day one. We believe our proposals shape a very positive, and exciting future for FBN, driven by hard work and a positive commitment to a bright future.

The way ahead
Your support is critical to the long-term success of FBN and we are confident you will like what you read in our proposals. The proposals have been approved by the board, and need to be agreed and signed off by our members at the AGM in Copenhagen in September.

The first step is the election of a more representative board which reflects the growing spread of the FBN organisation. This will also take place at the AGM. It is likely that some of the longer serving board members will step down to make way for fresh blood and ideas around the table. We also propose increasing the representation from family business members, as we are foremost a family business network and believe this should be reflected across our organisation.

Once new board members are voted in, the new board will be charged with implementing the proposals for taking FBN forward on behalf of our members and other key stakeholders.

Positive progress
This is all both healthy and exciting for FBN, and more importantly for our members, as we embrace change and move forward with the same positive spirit of adventure and belief that sparked the first gathering of likeminded members 15 years ago.

Here's to the next 15 years.

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