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March 6, 2014

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The founder and managing director was getting older. He’d started the business 20 years ago and now had a tight executive team of four directors including him. They shared ownership of the business – a geophysical technology service provider.

The problem was that the founder had decided that they were already successful and was seeking to enjoy life. Two of the other directors were long term members of the team. They were expert in their specialised field but with limited strategic sense, and being loyal to the founder, kept their views neutral and only mildly supportive of the remaining director, the youngest and newest member of the team.

This director’s business case to broaden the market, diversify services and protect against the dependency on the resources sector fell on deaf ears. He became frustrated and tensions within the directorship grew.

That tension contaminated the other 47 staff and soon talented members left, seeking a better working culture.

Then the resources sector began to slow down.

The young director knew that there was a rapidly diminishing window of opportunity. But he was fearful of creating a disastrous confrontation with the founder. He was aware of the founder’s habits and the ignorance of the other two directors.

Most of all he was concerned about his own ignorance of how to broach the subject in a way that would work.

What would you do if you were that younger director?

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