Conflict at board level can cripple an organisation. In a recent survey by CEDR and the IFC on Board Disputes (2014):
The most common cause of conflict was reported to be disagreement about financial and strategic decisions but what was more surprising was that the second most common cause was the behaviour and attitudes of directors.
In a thriving, successful business disagreement is not only inevitable, it is healthy and necessary – as long as it is well handled. The statistics tell us this is not the case and the conflict, reported as being so common, is destroying organisations from the top down.
The usual pattern is for board members to carry on trying to run their organisation with issues being brushed under the carpet where they fester and escalate to the point where the board becomes dysfunctional. Ineffectiveness at board level cascades down to every level and ultimately the whole organisation suffers. Something that began as a minor disagreement between directors grows into paralysing conflict that prevents decisions being made throughout the organisation.
The good news is that there is a better way – a way to conflict-proof a board with a proactive approach, developing skills to spot the potential for conflict at its earliest possible stage and to engage in robust debate and decision making without major fallout.
the better way provides bespoke board training in having difficult conversations, dealing effectively with conflict at meetings, identifying areas of potential dispute and employing mechanisms for resolving them using mediation skills.
the better way provides a service aimed at preventing, diagnosing and resolving disputes through education, facilitation and mediation.