“Emotion eats Logic for breakfast.  It laughs at Commercial Commonsense … and makes fools of Business Families”.

Family Conflict in Family Business

Family Conflict

Family conflict in a family creates tension;  family conflict in a Family Business creates disputes. 

Family disputes get nasty when they bypass logic; Family Business disputes corrupt problem solving and decision making processes.  

The results can be deadly - for the family and the business.  


Starting a dispute resolution process is daunting, but it’s better than doing nothing - which just defers the arrival of bigger problems. 

Families are supposed to be environments of respect, loyalty, nurture and trust, but they are often not like that, especially when a family business is involved, and particularly when peacemakers go missing in action, through choice, age, infirmity, exhaustion, or a host of other causes.  

Feelings of disappointment and betrayal create resentment and suspicion.  They lead to dysfunction, and worse. 

Family conflict in Family Business crashes family systems against business systems: 

Nurture fights Nature - the family’s desire to protect the weak competes directly with the business’s need to be competitive, efficient and profitable.

This requires solutions that are family-sensitive AND commercially responsible.  And that’s not-so-easy to achieve, as it crosses and re-crosses a lot of lines.

Saving the family and the business requires an empathic, multi-dimensional, non-destructive approach that addresses Individual + Family + Business needs and interests, without sacrificing anyone, or anything, during the process. 

This is about as complicated as real world dispute resolution can get.  Having observed otherwise excellent conventional processes failing to deliver in multiple family contexts, we set out to build a better mousetrap.  The result:  SODR, for Families.

SODR  (Solution-Oriented Dispute Resolution), for Families

SODR Is a complete system for resolving disputes and conflicts.  It’s especially effective for family business disputes.  

Key Features

  • Re-establishes discipline and authority in the family.

  • Resolves conflicts; repairs and may even strengthen relationships.

  • Private, pragmatic, flexible and very family-sensitive.

  • Extremely quick, time-efficient and cost-effective.

  • Guaranteed results.  Once started, nobody can stop the process.

  • Better than doing nothing.

  • Far less costly and damaging than litigation.

  • Provides closure for individuals, families, and businesses.

  • Protects family peacemakers from being consumed in the fires of family rage.


SODR, for Families - Process Contract

At Commencement:  family members agree terms of a formal, written Process Contract, including:  (a) options to suit their family;  (b) participation ground rules and procedures; (c)  personal responsibilities and accountabilities; (d) consensus building; (e) implementing agreed actions; (f) consequences, effects and enforcement of outcomes. 

SODR Process


3 Phases:  (1) Facilitation       (2) Determination      (3) Independent Decision 

Phase (1)    Facilitation (resolves most disputes and conflicts)


Activity:          Facilitated family conversations.  Individual support, as required.  

Outcome:       Voluntary Agreement, binding as a contract.

Phase (2)    Determination (resolves most of what’s left)


Activity:          Facilitator makes a Determination, based on known information.

Outcome:       Written Determination, binding under contract.   

Options:         (A) Advisory, or (B) Enforceable under Family Rules, or (C) Enforceable at Law, as a contract.

Phase (3)    Independent Decision (rarely required - final solution)


Activity:          Issues referred to a neutral, Independent Decision Maker (“IDM”) for a Decision.

Outcome:       Written Decision, binding under contract.   

Options:         (A) Advisory, or (B) Enforceable under Family Rules, or (C) Enforceable at Law, as a contract. 

Our Address

L 5 / 485 La Trobe St



Australia. 3000

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