What Happens When A Dispute Spirals Out Of Control

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Depending on the type of entrepreneur you are, you will have an established strategy in your mind on how you would deal with a corporate dispute within your organisation. Even if your company’s management structure is robust, as you business evolves there is always the possibility when you put a group of strong willed business people in a room together, to discuss the future of a business they are passionate about, that some element of dispute will emerge. While these disputes can be conducive to better performance going forward, on some occasions they can result in mass destabilisation. Today, we look at the far reaching impact a board dispute had on the Law Firm Wallace & Kingsley. In tomorrow’s post we will give you some guidance on how to avoid such disputes and what to do if they do occur.
In the case of Wallace & Kingsley, a simple disagreement over a HR issue, resulted in such friction at a board level that it culminated in resignation,and eventually, legal proceedings were filed. Founder Richard Wallace states “With the benefit of hindsight I can now see the crucial mistakes we made; board members spent very little time developing good working relationships with each other. Therefore, when a minor dispute occurred, directors found it difficult to communicate with each other and the result was a completely destabilised board.”
“This dispute spiralled out of control and had such far reaching consequences that our company has only just recovered” comments Wallace. “I am convinced this has hindered our business’ progress. Not only did I have to switch my concentration from expanding this company to dealing with the fall out, it damaged our brand from the point of view of existing clients and relationships I am convinced would have progressed were lost, due to the fact we could not present a united front.”
In tomorrow’s post we give you an action plan of what to do when a dispute looks like it could result in a fragmented board or disaffected partner.

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