Category: Articles

The dark side of the screen

In this article Ian Marsh explores how the way we relate to our gadgets is affecting the way we relate to one another – and not necessarily in a good way. Where is your phone as you read this? Can you see it? Can you reach it? Will you hear its alerts as you read? […]

Culture, communication and conflict

Introduction In Preparing Heirs,[1] Williams and Preisser report research which suggests that, of the 70% of wealth transition plans that fail (you may want to rewind and read that statistic again if you’re not familiar with it), 60% of those failures are due to a breakdown of trust and communication within the family, and a […]

Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution in Family Businesses

Family conflict is one of the biggest challenges facing those seeking to build a multi-generational family business. “Conflict risk” is more manageable than many other types of risk, yet it is still relatively unusual for families to take steps to manage it, or to seek professional help in doing so – until, of course, things […]

An interpersonal neurobiology view of the diverse roles of culture in conflict

Abstract: In this paper Ian Marsh considers the complex interactions of culture and conflict through the twin lenses of interpersonal neurobiology and his experience of working with conflict as both hired gun (litigator) and peacemaker (intervenor). After briefly introducing the subject of interpersonal neurobiology and reflecting on the nature of both culture and conflict, he explores  the notions […]

Mediating Families at War

In this article, Ian Marsh argues that ‘family wars‘ in business are different from commercial disputes, explains why and suggests how the mediation process can be adapted to deal with very differing needs.  It is based upon a seminar given to the Hong Kong Mediation Council on 10 November 2010. Introduction and context “I have […]

So Why Do We Give to Charity?

If, as Hobbes said, “every man is presumed to seek what is good for himself naturally, and what is just, … accidentally“1 , what place does philanthropy have in succession planning? At first sight, they would certainly seem to be mutually exclusive. After all, succession is essentially about passing the ownership and control of capital from one generation to the next, typically within […]

Getting your brain in gear: communication in family business

Failure to communicate can seriously damage a family business’ chances of survival. Often communication is only prioritised when conflict breaks out. This reactive attitude can allow the conflict to escalate out of control, and may endanger the family’s chances of restoring the trust on which effective communication depends. Ian Marsh was a lawyer for more […]