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Solutions-based Approach to Resolving Disputes


Solutions-based Approach to Resolving Disputes

By , February 17, 2021

Director of Five Feathers Consulting, Nancy Peat, joins this week’s episode to discuss her work as a conflict mediator. In this role, she assists clients when they face communication issues that are having a negative impact on the business with no resolution. Her position is to provide logical, unbiased facilitation to create productive conversation to resolve issues in a financially effective and efficient way. Before mediation, Nancy’s main background was in financial services. She has more than 30 years working in management training, consultative advice, and accounting firms. She also worked in insurance and financial planning, dealing with businesses on unplanned successions. After a career transition, Nancy decided on mediation, as she had effectively been practicing it for years. She obtained her national accreditation in Mediation (NMAS) and started her business Five Feathers Consulting shortly after.

From experience, Nancy has found that family owned businesses seem to be the most interesting cases. This is mainly due to deeply personal relationships which make difficult discussions much more so. A further common theme with family-owned businesses Nancy has experienced consistently is sibling rivalry. During these mediations, she has found the interestingly, conflicts stem from grudges and events from childhood, which have transferred into the business environment. In these cases, Nancy has to gather every detail of information to ensure each party is content with the outcome. Despite people often seeking mediation to save on legal fees, the mediation itself starts to incur them. Nancy concludes this is mainly because her clients have never held frank conversations about the future of their business, and because they have waited too long to discuss it, this is why it becomes a dispute.


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Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.