Overcoming the top level business disputes that hold back emerging economies
Dates: 2011 - 2015
The International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group) and CEDR have combined their experience, knowledge and expertise for a major research and innovation project to facilitate the use of ADR approaches such as mediation and conciliation to deal with governance level conflict.
Disputes at board level are a particularly challenging issue for any organisation. Tasked with having the oversight of the Corporate Governance of an organisation, a board has an extremely important function as a top-level entity in ensuring the orderly, legal and strategic management of a business. However, when there are issues within the board itself it can be difficult for an organisation and other board members to rectify these problems due to the confidential and autonomous status of the board and many issues go unresolved.
In a global survey of boardroom disputes carried out by CEDR and IFC in 2013, 67.2% of board members reported unresolved issues on their board whilst 29.6% board members have experienced a board dispute so toxic that it affected the survival of the organisation concerned.
An overview of the survey results and Corporate Governance issues can be found in the IFC report "Boardroom Disputes: How to manage the good, weather the bad and prevent the ugly".
Full Survey Results can be found in the report Conflicts in the Boardroom Survey: Results and Analysis.
A Training Programme
From the research, we were able to determine that whilst feeling confident to handle legal and commercial disputes, there was a critical gap in board members’ abilities to handle inter-personal conflict. As a result CEDR and the IFC’s international training experts worked together to develop a course which could provide skills training for board members to address these issues and offer a practical coaching session.
Within the course, the following key topics are explored:
- Understanding conflict at board level and what styles of conflict are
- How to work with those different conflicts styles
- How to have a difficult conversation
- Active Listening skills
- Exploration skills
- Breaking through deadlock
- Working with status
- Dealing with coalitions on the board
- Handling conflicts in a board setting
The course was fully piloted internationally in Georgia in May 2014. We have since trained the first 18 International Trainers from 12 countries to be able to deliver the course to organisations around the world in emerging and developed markets.
The following case studies from delegates who have taken the course are available.