Home / Podcasts / Family Enterprise: When Strategy Collides With Vision and Values With Debbie Bing

Family Enterprise: When Strategy Collides With Vision and Values With Debbie Bing

Jan 26, 2022

Debbie Bing is President and Principal at CFAR (Center for Applied Research) where she uses her conflict-resolution and negotiation expertise to help family businesses and other organizations build collaborative approaches to their most pressing business challenges. Debbie talks about the emotional and strategic layers that family businesses are faced with when it comes time to engage with the new leaders, spouses, or the next generation. She speaks to her background in mediation and conflict-resolution. Tune in as Debbie addresses conflict, risk, and how the next generation should step out and step into roles where they can use their skills and perspectives for their families.


  • [01:24] CFAR’s history 
  • [03:12] How founders and the next generation can work together
  • [10:30] How to include new family members into a family business
  • [15:55] How Debbie views conflict, strategy, and growth
  • [20:17] Women and the next generation in family businesses


  • One of the first questions that’s important for founders and families to be asking and thinking about when they’re thinking about continuity with future generations, is what are their goals. Determining explicitly, what are the rules of the road for new generations entering the business?
  • There are so many layers underneath what presents as a conflict. It’s an opportunity to understand a source of difference. Explore what the conflict is representing and you will likely find something that is useful for decision-making in future choices.
  • Since the pandemic, many businesses have a need for a wider set of skills and backgrounds. This has led to an increase of entry from the next generation, of all kinds and certainly women.






Debbie Bing, President and Principal, began at CFAR as a Project Consultant in 1998, became an Associate in 1999, and a Principal in 2006. Her assumption of the Presidency in 2016 represents the shift to CFAR’s Second Generation of Leaders. Debbie is also a member of CFAR’s Board of Directors and co-leads the firm’s Family Enterprise and Owner-Led Business practice. As a second-generation owner of CFAR, she draws on personal experience in working through the dilemmas of strategy and succession.

Debbie views conflict as a useful starting point for a productive exchange about organizational priorities and performance. She has led negotiation teams in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe, and uses that expertise to help business leaders and executive teams in family businesses, entrepreneurial organizations, universities, associations and foundations to build collaborative approaches to their most pressing business challenges. She is especially skilled at helping clients make decisions and implement change in highly politicized, emotionally charged environments as they manage the multiple pressures of mission, performance, culture, competencies and competition. Her methodology brings all appropriate players into the process of generating options, making decisions, and committing to a plan so that they “own” the solution.


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