Conflicts in Disguise

“65% of startup teams fail due to founder conflict”

Prof. Noam Wasserman

I wonder if these teams would have approached their situation differently if they had realized that their conflicts would cause their startup to fail.

I asked my brother how we could be sure that we were having a spat and not having a conflict? He said:

“I’d say a spat doesn’t escalate.”

I’m afraid I have to disagree, as we already had a conflict in the past that did not escalate. But 17 years on, it is still unresolved and I believe contributed to our startup failing. I think that is the key. We should be able to resolve a spat very quickly and easily. A conflict is much more difficult, with underlying issues, and we may never resolve it.

Escalating of Spats Proposal

  1. Spats: Can be quickly resolved using a simple CAUTION and an acknowledgment.
  2. Disputes: Can take a bit more work to resolve using an OBJECTION and a simple apology.
  3. Conflicts: Can be very difficult and may never be resolved and needs a STOP and an acceptable apology.

We should be able to test and resolve all of our spats to ensure that they are not the more severe dispute or conflict.

Let’s try to resolve all our minor team spats mainly because some of these spats could be conflicts in disguise and ultimately could be responsible for causing the the next startup team to fail.

Conflicts in Disguise

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