More About the Author
For 35 years, Dennis has helped families manage the personal and organizational issues that lead to successful and fulfilling transfer of businesses, wealth, values, commitments and legacies between generations. Since 1981, he has been professor of Organizational Systems and Psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco. He received his BA in Philosophy, MA in Management and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University.
As both an organizational consultant and clinical psychologist, he is one of the architects of the emerging field of family enterprise consulting. As a founding member of the Family Firm Institute, he has presented at many of their annual conferences, served on their board, written frequently for their journal Family Business Review, and was awarded the Richard Beckhard Award for contributions to practice. In 2007 he was named Thinker in Residence for S. Australia, where helped the region design a strategic plan for the future of their entrepreneurial and family businesses.
Dennis is the author of the new book Stewardship of Your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Leadership Across Generations, Working with the Ones You Love: Building a Successful Family Business; Working with Family Businesses: A Guide for Professional Advisors, as well as 12 other management books, including Getting Your Organization to Change, Rekindling Commitment, Take This Job and Love it! and From Burnout to Balance
He has helped financial advisors and wealth managers in a number of firms to develop the skills to serve the personal needs of their client families. He is the co-creator of the Enterprising Family Sustainability Index, the Aspen Family Business Inventory, the Aspen Family Wealth Inventory, the Transition Curve, and other tools for assessment of family enterprise success.
Dennis recently co-authored, with his colleagues at Relative Solutions, the Campden Research study The New Wealth Paradigm: How affluent women are taking control of their futures, and was the researcher for the JP Morgan study of best practices of multi-generational families. His research on the governance of start-up companies, After the Term Sheet is an important contribution to the field of entrepreneurship. He is a regular contributor to magazines such as Families in Business, Worth and Family Business. He was awarded the Editor's Choice Award in 2005 for his article on family business strategic planning for the Journal of Financial Planning.
He was deputy director for research at the Macarthur Foundation sponsored network for Healthy Companies from 1992-95. In 1984 he founded Changeworks Global, a consulting firm in San Francisco, where he worked with organizations and family businesses about long-term change to build competitive advantage by unleashing the power of their employees. He was a founder of the web firm MemeStreams, which pioneered the use of on-line executive development tools. In 1990-92 he served as Deputy Director of Research for the Macarthur Foundation Network on Healthy Companies. His video, Managing People through Change, was voted one of the Best Products of 1991 by the magazine Human Resource Executive. His work has been featured in Inc. magazine, Entrepreneur, Nation's Business, Time and The Wall Street Journal, and he has been profiled in People magazine.
He has been active in non-profit governance, serving on the boards of the World Business Academy, Saybrook University, and the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.