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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Workplace

Summary

Organisation dispute where the executive team of a business turning over £10m annually was facing the imminent break-up of the team and the business.

Background

The starting point of the mediator's involvement was a call about the current CEO being forced out and the “problem behaviour” of one particular executive who was on the one hand threatening to leave and take business with him, and on the other hand wanting to put his hat in the ring as next CEO.
Each executive was spoken to individually and then there were facilitated  meetings of the executive team. By the end the executives had returned to a functioning team, albeit with a long list of issues which they still need to resolve. They were focused initially on two critical issues which had to be resolved to enable the longer list of issues to be tackled – firstly how to talk to and work with each other in this crisis period, and secondly how to define, recognise, and reward individual contribution.
By the end the team had made so much progress that they had re-established trust to the point that the “problem executive” was appointed the new CEO. It is interesting to observe how difficult it is for individuals to be open and honest about their issues, yet how transformative it can be when individuals talk about how they are feeling and what their individual needs are.

Outcome

The break-up of the business and consequent commercial dispute were avoided through an investment of 21 hours of intervention – which avoided many months of protracted wrangling, loss of productivity, immense management distraction, and significant cost.  The continuation of the business meant that several hundred jobs were saved.


Mediator: David A Evans JP