Our facilitation process is the perfect way for prospective business partners or newly-merging entities to develop the shared vision of their partnership. Less formal than mediation, facilitation is a thorough and forward-looking process designed to allow partners to engage in more informed negotiation of the terms of their deal and develop an operating plan based on a strong understanding of their business and cultural fit.
The involvement of the facilitators will ensure that key issues are raised and implications are fully vetted. Beyond discussion of deal terms, prospective partners get to know each other on a deeper level and can anticipate, and therefore better resolve, inevitable differences in their views. For partners who have been in business together for some time, this process can revive the communication and get past issues that are preventing them from maximizing their business.
Our services are highly customized to meet the needs of the partners, but the core process has three parts:
1. Assessment and Agenda-setting
In addition to a written assessment to start to get a clear picture of each partner’s behavior style and motivations, we do further discovery of partner expectations and motivations. Partners answer written questions prior to a pre-conference private discussion where they give their perspective on specific areas of concern. We also create a full review of partner compatibility, and how this could play out in communication, decision-making and conflict management.
2. In-Person Facilitated Meetings
In light of the agenda and with awareness of the styles of the participants, a facilitated meeting is scheduled over 1-2 days to fully raise issues of partner equity, roles, responsibilities, and issues specific this partnership. This will ensure that partners are aligned regarding expectations and the implications of their decisions, including an action plan. Partners will leave this meeting with a clear understanding of their shared vision of the partnership.
3. Partnership Constitution
All agreements reached are documented, including the plan for ownership, roles, decision-making, and communication. The Partnership Constitution serves as a resource for each partner’s understanding of the rationale behind the quantitative deal terms and the explicit value and benefit for each partner. In addition, the Partnership Constitution captures cultural elements of the partnership that are deemed important. This document is shared with attorneys to assist in creating the operating agreement/partnership agreement.
Additional meetings may be scheduled follow up to assist with implementation, or help manage changes to the business such as adding new partners.