Board Mediation

Nobody has to resign

No reputational damage

No liability risk

 

Conflicts in the boardroom?
Conflicts occur often. Even at the highest levels: between shareholders, supervisory board, executive board and workers’ council. About any topic. The discussions seem to be about content, factual matters and of a businesslike nature, however in reality this often is not relevant. Important disputes almost always come together with strong emotions. Those emotions n turn often are signals of underlying issues. Paradoxically they seem to matter less, but the underlying issues most of the times are the real trigger for the conflict. Even in de boardroom issues are often about: not feeling heard or recognized, not able to speak or being cut off, dominant players or little tolerance for inconvenient opinions. It would be a large step if it would be recognized that this also occurs often in the boardroom. Afer all, people remain human…

“The single biggest problem in communication
is the illusion that is has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

Why mediation?
To put it short: in case you feel that the collaboration is reducing or getting bumpy, a conflict is threatening or you are stuck. Incumbents almost always are negatively affected by a (threatening) conflict and become less effective. Stress responses are triggered and unintentionally third parties are getting involved. This influence the working climate and the mutual trust ultimately resulting in a diminishing performance of your company.
An independent mediator often is able to normalize relationships within a short time frame and help with finding a constructive solution with sufficient support. Merlin’s View can play an important role with conflict prevention, resolution and mediation.

For which type of conflicts do we mediate?
In principle for all types of conflict. Emotions remain emotions. We possess the know how and experience to mediate for business issues (strategy), ethical dilemmas and purpose of the organization for shareholders (importance of family-shareholders versus company) or society, governance issues (allocation of duties between or amongst executives and supervisory board) or distrubed relationships. However, we will require to postpone all underlying legal procedures during the course of our mediation.

Between which parties do we mediate?
– Conflicts within the Supervisory Board
– Conflicts between shareholders and Supervisory Board or Executive Board
– Conflicts between Supervisory and Executive Board
– And other combinations….

When to start mediation?
Preferably before the conflict escalates, to avoid an expensive, dragging or explosive conflict. Or in case a conflict has grown so strong that no communication is possible anymore between the parties and a solution cannot be found anymore.

What makes us unique?
For conflicts at the highest level only a limited number of options are available. We are one of the few mediators who posses personal: (1) long term experience in various supervising and executive roles; (2)up-to-date knowledge of corporate governance rules of the game; (3) experience with mediation in boardroom settings; (4) coaching experience; and: (v) Confidant experience.

What can we do for you?
Merlin’s View’s mediation approach often enables parties to find a joint solution. That saves you a lot of time, energy and money – for lawyers and a court case – and avoids reputational damage. Often we take out the stinger in a few sessions and increase the mutual understanding of the incumbents for each other’s points of view. From there we may guide the process of exploring solutions. Often incumbents may continue their relationships, with understanding for each other’s interests and visions. In a few cases this is not possible. In such cases the relationship may be discontinued in a manner which is acceptable for all involved, without reputational damage.

Professional attitude
As mediators we are independent and neutral: we listen, do not judge, and guide the process. We take care of a safe environment in which incumbents can speak out freely, start to listen to each other en obtain insight in their own interests, interests of others, of the company and in that binds each other. (Re)building of mutual trust results in reflecting on possible solutions for the dispute and the development of a mutual, supported long-term solution.