Millions of people co-own closely held companies, family businesses, and business partnerships, but establishing them and keeping them together is never easy. Here, finally, is the guide they have been waiting for.... Read More
Mediation: How It Works
Click for a comprehensive list of articles, discussions, and interviews by BMC Associates regarding Mediation: How It Works or scroll through the list to find an article of interest.
Family Business Conflict Resolution Handbook David Gage and Scott Meza 2003
David Gage and Scott Meza explain where mediation fits in to the range of options available to owners of closely held businesses. Business owners "can follow many paths into conflict, but only a few paths lead out of it." In addition to mediation, the paths out of conflict include: negotiation, facilitation, counseling, expert advice, arbitration, and litigation. A discussion of the strengths and limitations of the various approaches is included.
Dispute Resolution Magazine David F. Gage and John A. Gromala Summer 2001
David Gage and John Gromala describe the unique methods BMC Associates use to help business partners prevent and resolve conflicts: "Unlike consultants, mediators do not develop a solution for businesses with problems. Instead, they help businesses develop their own solutions. Because each participant has a vested interest in the new plan, the chances of success are much higher." They describe business charters: "A business charter addresses issues that are ignored by partnership agreements and job descriptions. It is a non-binding memorandum that clarifies, among other things, what each person expects of the others and how they will work together."
CPA Administrator's & Manager's Report David Gage November 2000
This article addresses the problem of business people pulling in their accountants to try to resolve conflicts among co-owners. Probably the most serious problem for any existing business advisor who tries to act like a mediator is being perceived as neutral. David Gage and lawyer-mediator Judy Weintraub describe certain red flags that advisors can watch for to know if their clients would benefit from mediation, and they suggest times when it may be valuable and appropriate for accountants to serve as expert advisors when their clients are in mediation. The article lists numerous advantages of mediation and suggests important factors to consider when selecting mediators.
Investor's Business Daily Sylvia Tiersten October 6, 1999
This article tells a story of two warring partners who became clients of BMC. One of the 50-50 partners was actually a day away from filing for receivership of their thriving company. With the help of the co-mediators (a business advisor and a psychologist) the owners successfully changed the ownership structure and the leadership of the company and established a board of directors that included outside members. As a result, the company stayed intact and was successfully sold for sixteen times its value at the time of the strife. When the company was acquired, one partner declared, "The sale was the real culmination of the mediation process."
Lori Ioannou writes, "Entrepreneurs are used to warfare, whether it's in the boardroom with venture capitalists or on the competitive battlefield. But nothing leaves more scars than partnership brawls. When such conflicts arise, co-founders usually take out the big guns. The upshot: The business gets embroiled in litigation and is often sold to end the whole nasty affair. Unless, of course, entrepreneurs seek the help of business mediators like David Gage."