The Outsider

A Living Case Study

…can a family re-create its future?

“The Outsider is a story of resilience and ripeness. It illustrates transitions and stages in life. Some of the most interesting characters are the ghosts, but the family is prepared to take charge of its own plan. The conflict in the family is about dreams, not money.”
–Jay Hughes


A family meets to make key decisions about the future of its business and philanthropic foundation. Their long-time trusted advisor encourages loyalty to “The Plan” established by the founder years ago. Family members struggle to agree on a consistent strategy and unified mission. Adding more uncertainty, a granddaughter from a cut-off branch of the family arrives, seeking to reconnect. She brings her own vision, strengths and personal needs. Despite fractures, the patriarch’s legacy has endured into the third generation. Now, this pivotal challenge: blend its abundant talents to become a family of affinity or splinter into a collection of outsiders.

The Outsider brings to life many of the seminal ideas of James E. (Jay) Hughes. The story raises issues about family governance, adaption and resilience, individual vs. family purpose, and strategic business planning as three generations each reach turning points in the evolution of the family business, of the family foundation, and of the family itself. With the story’s richness and complexity, our facilitation is customized to explore the themes and learning goals most relevant for your group, whether from a business, law or family dynamics perspective.

‘The Outsider’ was developed and produced under a grant from the law firm of Kozusko Harris Duncan and its clients to illustrate the themes in the writings of James E. Hughes. It was first premiered (with great success) in a private showing for an interdisciplinary group of professionals with whom he collaborates.

For more information on bringing this workshop to your organization, contact:

Learn through experience: our Living Case Study pulls you inside a family wrestling with fateful decisions about wealth and purpose.

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