Most companies at some point face the challenge of balancing competing interests among stakeholders, and family businesses are unique in that the family is one of the key constituents. While competing interests may be inevitable, creating a protocol for addressing them and encouraging communication among all relevant groups is paramount to resolving issues. When consensus is unattainable, engaging outside parties to facilitate discussions and act as an objective sounding board can lead to resolution.
When working with family businesses to address and balance competing interests, we discuss questions such as:
- How is conflict typically handled within the family, concerning ownership and/or management of the business?
- What mediation practices have been developed for resolving conflicts?
- What has the family done in terms of engaging third parties to facilitate conflict resolution or improve communication and decision-making ?