Successful Businesses resolve Disputes The Better Way
All of this has focussed my mind yet again on the benefits of mediation skills and principles for all businesses, and for SME’s in particular.
Wearing my lawyer’s hat I have come across far too many great companies that are, at best, functioning well below their potential, and, at worst, are completely destroyed because of conflict that begins in the boardroom and cascades down through the organisation and the culture becomes toxic; or a dispute that begins at a minor level between staff but festers and spreads throughout the entire workforce and ends in an Employment Tribunal; or a fall-out with a subcontractor that begins as something fairly trivial but ends up in litigation that lasts a year or more and business will never be done between them again.
The first thing that strikes me as a business owner is that I don’t have a budget for the type of cost litigation will incur. The second thing is that I do not want to employ people who dread coming to work every day. The third is that I want to do more than avoid the wrong way to do things – I want to be proactive and do things a better way – I want to use the energies of my partners, our staff and our business relationships with other companies to be the best we can be as an organisation.
As a mediator and facilitator working with businesses I sometimes have the privilege to see how things can work when people step out of the traditional route of dispute resolution. Instead of those involved becoming more entrenched (which litigation necessarily requires), they work together to find a solution and that’s exactly the kind of approach that makes a business successful.
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