Helping Family Businesses
Prosper Across Generations®


The Family Constitution

Family constitutions (and similar documents referred to as “charters” or “protocols”) are often a centerpiece of family agreements and governance for mature family enterprises; yet, the purpose and origin of the constitution can be very different from family to family. Oftentimes, families go through the process of  developing a constitution and later find the document isn’t as useful as hoped for in managing the day-to-day tensions between business, family and ownership.

During this one-hour program, Chris Eckrich and Dana Telford discuss how families effectively create and use family constitutions as a foundational pieces of their governance efforts and provide useful ideas for families considering creating or updating this kind of family agreement.

Attendees will learn: 

  • Why families choose to create a family constitution,
  • The conditions that lead to successful creation of a family constitution,
  • Different processes families use to create their family constitutions,
  • Who to involve for best results,
  • What types of agreements and policies typically go into a family constitution, and
  • Tips on completing the constitution successfully and implementing it with the family.


About the Presenters

Senior advisor Chris Eckrich specializes in building leadership excellence and maintaining family unity in enterprising families. He assists family owned firms in preparing future owners and leaders, forging alignment on goals, and establishing orderly continuity plans that maximize effective leadership transition and prevent conflict during the transition.

Dana Telford is a principal consultant specializing in helping family business owners plan for succession and manage the complexities and opportunities that are inherent to family business. He works with controlling owner, sibling partnership and multi- generational family enterprises of all complexities and sizes, and across multiple industries. 

Additional Resources

Webinar Recording: View video here

Suggested Articles

You can also access hundreds of in-depth articles written by our team that address the unique challenges faced by family enterprises from communication and conflict to succession and continuity. Visit our Article Library.

Recommended Books

Services for Building a Stronger Family and a Stronger Business

How do we help bring your family into alignment? The process begins by understanding the various aspects of the family and the business, including family dynamics and history, vision, mission, and culture as well as the structures of ownership and governance that interact with these systems. From there, we start to determine where the biggest opportunities are to establish agreement on key issues around the business, as well as what areas of education and facilitation will help equip shareholders to be effective stewards of the family's legacy.

To learn more about how organizing and educating the family can support family enterprise success, please contact us at or 773-604-5005.

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