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Donald Levitt
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Industry
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Occupation relative to family business
Family Business Advisor
Area of Expertise
Behavioral Science
With what family business organizations are you affiliated (e.g., FFI, FBN, IFERA, FERC, CAFE, IFB)?
FFI, University of Toledo's Center for Family Business
Please share a little about yourself and your business.
Donald Levitt, Ph.D. is a recognized authority in helping leaders, teams and organizations to reach their goals. For over 25 years he has consulted with and coached senior executives at global corporations, public institutions and family-owned businesses. He has provided guidance in a variety of industries including manufacturing, professional services, engineering and construction, pharmaceutical, distribution, financial services, and telecommunications.

In addition to corporate consultation, Don has consulted with the American Psychological Association, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and several state universities. His work has been referenced in such widely read publications as The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and was featured on the cover of HR Magazine.

Don is the author of over 40 published articles and three chapters on management and workplace issues. He has delivered over 20 conference presentations and numerous published interviews in the professional and popular press. For two years he shared his enthusiasm for effectively managing workplace issues in a live television segment entitled The Changing Workplace which was broadcast weekly on a local CBS television station.

Prior to establishing Levitt Consulting, Inc. (www.LevittConsulting.com) in 1998, Don served for eight years as an internal consultant regarding employee and organizational effectiveness at Ford Motor Company, and served a similar role at Owens Corning for six years. A licensed psychologist, Don is a graduate of the Human Resource Executive Program at the University of Michigan Business School, and has been awarded the Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute.

Don is the founder of Family Business Wiki.

dlevitt@levittconsulting.com
www.levittconsulting.com

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Donald Levitt's Blog

Don't Let "Fault Lines" in the Family Business Become Earthquakes

Moving tectonic plates on the surface of the earth have and will always cause fault lines.  These points of convergence and pressure are inevitable and can cause earthquakes at a large scale.

 

Due to divergent desires and changing personal situations of family members, such points of convergence and pressure can be found in families-in-business and can cause inevitable fault lines.  Unlike geological faults, however, active steps can be taken in a family business to prevent…

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Posted on December 17, 2013 at 6:00pm

Preventive Maintenance in Each Generation

 

“If you tell me what generation your family business is in, and the number of shareholders, I will tell you what challenges you are facing.”

 

This is a familiar line in family business consulting, and one which makes a lot of sense.  Challenges in a family business follow a predictable pattern.  Knowing this pattern can help you to take a “preventive maintenance” approach to reducing the likelihood of family business…

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Posted on February 5, 2013 at 11:56am

It's (too) easy to focus on dysfunctional family businesses

MSN Money recently ran a high-profile article (with photos, of couse) entitled 10 Dysfunctional Family Businesses (or "Dynasties of Dysfunction"). The "usual suspects" were noted: Hilton, Murdoch, Redstone, Prtizker, Bronfman -- along with some new additions, e.g., the Hulk Hogan family.



Boy, is this an easy target for journalists. Just like the local TV news… Continue

Posted on July 28, 2009 at 9:30am

Comment Wall (15 comments)

At 2:17pm on December 16, 2008, Brian Distelberg said…
We meet through linkedin I believe. I am a Ph.D student in Marriage and Family Therapy over at MSU...sorry! I'm doing my dissertation and other research through a group in Grand Rapids called the Family Business Alliance. I've came across your website a few times over the last two years. How's the Buz?
At 4:42pm on December 16, 2008, Brian Distelberg said…
It's exploring the role of family dynamics in family businesses. Mostly using social network analysis to identify the usefulness or limits of the three circle model in typologizing family businesses. I hypthesize that varying family dynamics and internal family values influence how family businesses structure their ownership and practices and therefore family dynamics and values are a more accureate way to typologize family businesses. I have an article in the march 2009 Family Business Review that details the theory. My dissertation will be one step in researching the theory.

Some day check out www.fbagr.org its a nonprofit group for family businesses in the west Michigan area. I am guessing you would know a number of the businesses.
At 11:15am on May 15, 2009, Kathleen Hoye said…
Yes I am planning to attend the Alliance conference in Chicago. I assume I will get to meet you in person there?
At 1:01pm on June 22, 2009, Christopher Weston said…
Yes I will be calling in. Can you send me the details.
At 2:44pm on July 29, 2009, Subhojit Dasgupta said…
Hello Donald

Thanks for the invite. I am trying to find some useful resources for family business on the internet. Can you guide me? Also, what are the most popular family business associations that you would advise someone to be part of?

Thanks
Subhojit
At 6:39pm on July 29, 2009, Subhojit Dasgupta said…
Hi Don

Thanks for your comments. I would also like to know your thoughts about how someone can promote their family business on social media such as linkedin, facebook and twitter?

best
Subhojit
At 2:40pm on July 30, 2009, Subhojit Dasgupta said…
Thanks a lot Don! I will take a look at the page.
At 4:39pm on September 4, 2009, Fernando Nogales Lozano said…
Agradezco sinceramente tus palabras de invitación al respecto de mi participación en la Wiki. Seguro que nos enriqueceremos todos con nuestros intercambios de experiencias y conocimientos.

Un cordial saludo

Fernando Nogales
At 11:16am on December 9, 2009, Randolph Rowland said…
Don,
It looks like you are far more steeped in the science of family systems than I. My expertise comes from the practical experience of running a family business, and my use of, and training in, Jungian psychological types. I use the latter terminology rather than "Myers-Briggs" as the leading professionals promoting the constructive use of personality differences are now focused on Jung's 8 function/attitudes as the basis for their work.
I look forward to participating in, and learning from, this group.
-Randy
At 7:56pm on February 11, 2010, Pablo M Ross said…
Don; Thank you for your comments; I look forward to participate in the forum, Gracias

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