Managing internal conflict

Business people discussing plans

This was a SME business originally founded by an innovative and powerful married couple with a number of external shareholders. The company had succeeded in driving revenue at a compound rate of 30% per annum over six years and yet remained unprofitable. This created a great deal of tension within the organisation.

At our first meeting, it quickly emerged that the dynamic between the couple, who were chairman and chief executive, was seriously inhibiting the market opportunity and profitability of the business. There had been several attempts to align with private equity to greatly enhance the business and take it to the next level. On each occasion the deal had fallen through at the last moment.

When working with the key personnel, after some resistance they saw that there was a massive conscious and unconscious fear of losing control of the business and not wanting to “lose their baby.” Interestingly, as is often the case, the course that they were set on was guaranteed to achieve precisely that.

Over the course of the next three months, by bringing these various unconscious fears into awareness, the individuals and company were able to move beyond this. The business rapidly became profitable and developed a number of completely new international markets. As part of this process, we supported a reorganisation of the board, which allowed for better communication and flow at the top of the organisation.

It is true in many different contexts that holding on tightly or seeking to control outcomes severely inhibits and restricts the natural flow of abundance and achieves the one thing that we want to avoid.  Energetically, it is the opposite of trust and optimism.  Businesses that are overly cautious often create a limiting and constricting environment that suppresses the natural creativity within the organisation. Opening to unknown potential and opportunity often feels risky, but it is a crucial part of having faith in the creative essence of the organisation.