The fourth session in “The Drucker Difference and Your Family Business” seminar series focused on a key challenge in family business: managing continuity and change––specifically the process of succession. Simon Cordes (MBA, ’12), 4th generation in a family-owned, mid-size glass manufacturing business in Germany, shared his personal experience of succession within a family business. He was joined by Dennis Jaffe, a leader in family enterprise consulting and clinical psychologist who will shared his insights from working with 100-year family enterprises.

Our Sponsor

Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation
“The Drucker Difference and Your Family Business” seminar series is sponsored by the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation. Thanks to the support from Foundation Chairman and Drucker School alumnus Woody L. Hunt (MA, Executive Management, ’89), the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute is empowered to further its mission to provide specialized support and resources for those leading family-owned and family-run businesses through this six-session interactive education series. Read more about how the Foundation’s generous grant is making an impact here.

Watch the Session

Our Speakers

Simon Cordes
Simon Cordes (MBA, ’12)

Simon Cordes is 4th generation in a family-owned, mid-size glass manufacturing business in Germany. Cordes received his MBA from the Drucker School and University of St. Gallen and his BS in International Business and International Finance from The American University of Paris. Participants will learn more about his current profession and experience in family business succession during the session.

Dennis Jaffe
Dennis Jaffe
Wise Counsel Research

Dennis Jaffe, a member of Wise Counsel Research, is a San Francisco-based advisor to families about family business, governance, wealth and philanthropy. He is author of Borrowed from Your Grandchildren: The Evolution of 100-Year Family Enterprises, Cross Cultures: How Global Families Negotiate Change Across Generations, Stewardship in your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Family Leadership Across Generations, and Working With the Ones You Love. His global insights have led to teaching or consulting engagements in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

The Family Firm Institute awarded him the 2017 International Award for service, and in 2005 he received the Beckhard Award for service to the field. In 2020 he was awarded a special commendation as an individual thought leader in the field of wealth management by the Family Wealth Report. He has a BA degree in Philosophy, MA in Management, and PhD in sociology, all from Yale University, and is professor emeritus of organizational systems and psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco.

Katharina Pick
Katharina Pick
Clinical Associate Professor
Drucker School of Management

Katharina Pick is clinical associate professor of organizational behavior at the Drucker School of Management. She teaches MBA and executive courses in Organizational Behavior and Theory, Leadership Development, Teams, Women in Leadership, and Design Thinking and the Creative Process. She also provides individual coaching for developing leaders across a variety of contexts including museum leadership and policing.

Pick’s research examines the internal group dynamics of corporate boards of directors with a particular focus on the psychology of board membership, speaking-up behavior, and board process in decision making and conflict resolution. Recently, she has written on the subject of boardroom dynamics and board leadership. Other research interests include gender and leadership, role negotiation and social identity in high-status groups, and sense-making and diffusion of deviant organizational behavior. She received her PhD in Organizational Behavior and MA in Sociology from Harvard University and holds an MSW from University of Southern California.

Vijay Sathe
Vijay Sathe
C.S. & D.J. Davidson Chair and Professor of Management
Drucker School of Management

Vijay Sathe was a professor at the Harvard Business School for 10 years prior to joining the faculty at Drucker School of Management. He teaches Managing Change, The Effective Executive, and Managing the Family Business. Sathe has taught in numerous executive education programs around the world and has published six books and numerous articles in academic and professional journals. He has also served as a consultant to corporations worldwide, and he has advised government agencies and not-for-profit organizations.

Sathe’s two latest books are Manage Your Career: 10 Keys to Survival and Success When Interviewing and On the Job, published by Business Expert Press in 2015; and Strategy and Competitiveness in Latin American Markets: The Sustainability Frontier, co-edited with Urs Jäger and published by Edward Elgar in 2014. He received his MBA and PhD from Ohio State University.

David Specht
David Specht
Director, Drucker School Global Family Business Institute

David Specht comes to the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute with a personal mission to “preserve families and perpetuate businesses” after spending nearly five years developing the Family Dynamics Program at Wells Fargo Private Bank. Prior to that he founded Advising Generations, a family business consulting firm and served on the faculty at the University of Nebraska and established their family business program. Specht is a two time author. His latest book is called, “The Family Business Whisperer.”

Specht is fluent in Spanish and lived for two years in Uruguay. He is also happily married and has six children. He studied Business Administration at Brigham Young University-Idaho and received a Master’s Degree in Tax and Financial Planning from San Diego State University.

Thank you to our Partners and Members

American Business Bank

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Cutting Edge Supply

Downs Energy


ITR Economics

Lippow Development

Lewis Group of Companies

Lundberg Family Farms

Ogura Family

Patton's Steel

Renken Company

Scheu Management Company

Welty Automation

Woodmax Company