After 15 years, two owners of a Southwest-based national software service provider had not spoken or been able to collaborate in two years. They were at a complete impasse as to how to go forward without further damaging or destroying their business. Things had devolved to a point where one of the partners was ready to close this successful $20 million enterprise down. After working with the owners and their key employees, we were able to rebuild enough trust to develop and explore more constructive options. Working with our network of legal, tax, and financial advisors, an amicable buy-out was agreed upon by the partners. Free from the destraction of partnership conflict, the business is now thriving.
After ten years, two owners of a one hundred and fifty employee service business were in serious conflict over trust and competency issues. Things had completely broken down. Formal legal mediation had failed and they were no longer able to work together, seriously clashing on almost every matter. Despite the business’ success, they were fighting for control and headed down an ugly path of litigation. Goodwill between the owners had been completely lost. We worked with the owners and their spouses to rebuild trust, empathy, and mutual understanding. After learning how to constructively harness conflict, the owners worked with our team of advisors to develop a mutually beneficial transition plan, preserve the company, constructively protect their personal interests, and restore their relationship.
Two partners at a successful commercial real estate investment company (multiple limited partnerships and over $250 million under investment) were at a strategic impasse. While they were on good terms, the younger partner wanted to grow the business and the older partner did not. Frustrated after multiple attempts to reconcile, they were unable to come to a mutually satisfying direction. Communication had shut down. We took the partners through our ACE program, developed a method of reconciling their personal and professional goals, and developed an effective reorganization plan moving forward. The partnership was reenergized by the process.
Several members of the executive team of a successful technology marketing company were having intermittent, but serious, personality clashes. It was creating unresolved and escalating tension and negatively impacting service delivery to key clients from multiple offices located in several states. The entire leadership team (including the owners) went through our ACE program to build trust and capacity for mutual respect and collaboration skills (including conflict de-escalation). Several executives then used their budgets to put their own teams through the ACE program so that they too could learn how to use these important collaboration skills.
Formed by a merger, relationships had significantly devolved among and between the nine partners of a major regionalprofessional service firm. Competing “silos” had developed between service lines and the original firms. Communication and trust had broken down – partners and staff were battling at both tactical and strategic levels. We put the partners through our Advantage of Constructive Engagement (ACE) Program to develop trust, communication, and partnership alignment. The firm has since had its prospective partners go through the ACE program, as well, so that they can develop successful partnership skills and share the firm approach to communication and collaboration.
Three partners of a boutique professional services firm were at impasse regarding how to grow and manage the practice. Revenue was stagnant and repeated attempts to develop a growth and succession plan had failed. The partners were becoming increasingly frustrated with the situation and with each other. They became focused on their individual practices and not collaborating with each other. We worked with the partners to develop their harnessing conflict and communication skills. The partners then agreed on how to restructure the ownership and management structure and, from that place, developed a mutually agreeable management, growth, and succession plan.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of a state industry association was at an impasse over priorities and direction. It’s members devolved into “camps”, each pushing their own agenda. The organization’s management was unable to get direction from the Board on how to focus its resources. We worked with the individual board members and the board collectively over several months to distill the key issues down, to build a consensus as to priorities and direction, and to develop a sustainable strategic plan. The board is now energized, aligned, and has a process in place to collaborate, lead, and adapt to change.
The Board of Directors of a philanthropic not-for-profit organization was going in circles as to its direction, governance, financial sustainability, and leadership accountability. While collegial and well intended, the members were having the same meeting over and over again, unable to make any headway on critical issues facing the organization. The board was taken through a process to develop a consensus as to the issues, articulate a mission and vision, chart a path forward, and operationalize its strategic initiatives.