“When you're at the edge of a cliff, your best step may be backwards."
Family Business Mediation
Family Business Disputes and Conflicts
Conflict is a struggle between opposing needs and interests. It can be internalised, or externalised. The former (bottling it up) creates emotional and behavioural issues; the latter (letting it out) manifests itself as disagreements, which become disputes and conflicts.
Because: Family + Business makes no sense, Family Business disputes and conflicts are inevitable. Family systems crash on the rocks of business systems. And when those clashes become conflicts, you’d better gear up, or get out.
Mediation works well for resolving most types of “normal” dispute and conflict.
Skilled mediators facilitate conversations, support problem solving and encourage negotiation to produce voluntary agreements between parties.
Family Business Mediation
Family Business Mediations are just mediations conducted with families that happen to have a business.
BUT ……. Although parties in conventional relationships generally honour their agreements, families are a whole different proposition.
Where family environments should be high trust, they’re often very low trust. Promises made are not kept, because the family fails to impose appropriate consequences on recalcitrant family members. Old scores get paid out.
And, being a voluntary process - any participant can choose how, and for how long, they wish to participate. They can block or bail entirely, without fear of serious consequences.
Families can find themselves seriously discombobulated by a family member who chooses to be difficult, for any reason, or for no reason at all.
In the final analysis, although it sounds good in principle, conventional Mediation is not the right process for resolving seriously entrenched family business disputes.
We use a Solutionist Mediation process to resolve broad-based family conflicts. We use SODR for specific disputes.
Solutionist Mediation starts with a Root Cause Analysis - exploring the foundations of the family’s conflict - to provide a deep understanding of the real causes.
Journeys into the distant past invariably uncover “causative events” that explain, at least in the minds of affected participants, why they’re in the situation they’re in, and why they feel they’ve suffered so much, throughout their lives.
SODR (Solution-Oriented Dispute Resolution), for Families
SODR, for Families works better than conventional Mediation for resolving difficult Family Business disputes and conflicts.
It uses the best facilitative aspects of mediation and combines them with informal decisional processes. It uses a Process Contract at the front end to ensure that: (a) the process will definitely produce an outcome and (b) that outcome will be enforced.
The result is a superior process for resolving both Family Business Disputes and Conflicts.