Family business owners can now benefit from a new Family Business Learning Community on the Gold Coast that allows members to share their knowledge and experiences in an open forum.
Launched this month by The Australian Centre for Family Business (ACFB), at Bond University, the idea of a ‘learning community’ is relatively new to Australia, says Director of the ACFB, Professor Ken Moores.
“This advanced educational approach has been in operation in the United States since the early 1980’s and is steadily gaining popularity as an effective knowledge sharing initiative here in Australia.
“It is estimated there are now over 250 learning communities in Colleges and Universities across the country,” he said.
Professor Moores explained that Learning Communities characteristically involve a group of people who share common interests, values and beliefs, and are actively engaged in learning together from each other.
“Since the inception of the Australian Centre for Family Business in 1994, we have always planned to develop a Learning Community as a way to support Australian family businesses,” he said.
“The new Family Business Learning Community that we have devised will allow collaborative learning between ACFB research consultants, scholars and members of multi-generational family firms.
“With the goal of building long-lasting links with the ACFB, families in the Learning Community are provided with a vehicle to continue to learn about and understand, not only their own family firm, but to learn with and from other families in business, Professor Moores said.
He said some of the tangible benefits on offer to family businesses include access to current thinkers in the family business discipline.
"The Centre has built a strong global network of cutting-edge thinkers in the family business field and has an international reputation for quality research and pedagogy.
“Families in the Family Business Learning Community will be able to take advantage of this knowledge on an ongoing basis and access the Centre’s latest research findings through a series of applied short courses,” he said.
As well as a forum for business families to interact and learn, the Family Business Learning Community provides an opportunity for academics from all disciplines to share ideas and learn from each other. This community of scholars will gather for an inaugural full-day summit hosted by the ACFB at Bond on Monday, August 6.
“Family business as a research pursuit is burgeoning and the Family Business Learning Community initiative will capitalize on this momentum and enable ACFB researchers to share their knowledge with Australian scholars from all disciplines,” said Professor Moores.
Family businesses employ more than 65 percent of the Australian workforce and account for 67 percent of all private sector firms.
The ACFB’s main aim is to contribute to the economic and social development of Australia by enhancing the prospects of profitable continuity of family businesses, thus benefiting family members, shareholders and non-family staff.