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Let's Talk Family Enterprise

Mar 8, 2022


Welcome to Let’s Talk Family Enterprise, a podcast that explores the ideas, concepts and models that best serve Family Enterprise Advisors in supporting their clients.

All views, information and opinions expressed during this podcast are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Family Enterprise Canada.



Steve Legler speaks with Nicole Garton, FEA, about her recent book, Harnessing Conflict: How Family Businesses Can Survive and Thrive. They talk about the well-publicized Stronach and Rogers cases, and how and why FEAs can help their family clients get out in front of conflict while it is still manageable and use it to make their families even stronger as a result.


Guest bio

Nicole Garton, B.A., LL.B, LL.M., C.Med, FEA, TEP, is a lawyer, mediator and parenting coordinator of family law, wills and estates matters.

In her dispute resolution practice, Nicole focuses on the restructuring of families resulting from separation and divorce and wills and estate challenges. In her solicitor’s practice, Nicole advises on all aspects of estate planning and administration, including the preparation of wills, powers of attorney, representation agreements and trusts, as well as applications for probate and letters of administration.

You can find out more about Nicole Garton on the BC Heritage Law website and her LinkedIn.


Key Takeaways

[0:26] Steve welcomes Nicole Gartner and asks her to share a little bit about her current research interest and the family that has been making the news rounds.

[4:10] The Goldilocks spot of conflict management is real and can yield great benefits, Nicole shares how FEAs are an integral part of walking the line between destructive and productive conflict.

[6:14] Nicole shares some constructive tips to help FEAs better help navigate the stages of conflict with the families they serve.

[8:56] Getting family members to keep talking is key to making sure conflicts don’t fester. Nicole talks about integrative and distributive conflict and shares some governance best practices.

[12:28] Getting back to basics, Nicole shares one of the more important aspects of conflict negotiation as well as how to integrate game theory into your family advisory practice to reframe the idea of failure.

[16:16] The three-circle model points us in the right direction; serving the whole family system is key.

[17:02] Nicole shares her experience reading through the affidavits from the Stronach family trials.

[21:26] Finding resolution often passes through the idea of finding a win for everyone, Nicole shares how this relates to the Rogers dispute.

[25:27] Nicole shares an entertaining piece of the Rogers litigation.

[27:44] Avoiding airing your laundry in public is about doing work upfront. FEAs need to learn to recognise when conflict is brewing and what experts to call in when they do.

[30:31] Rogers mediation dispute fun fact!

[31:47] Nicole shares her book recommendation as well as a piece of advice from an advisor to other advisors.

[34:00] Steve thanks listeners for taking time to tune in, and invites them to subscribe!


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Mentioned in this episode

The Let’s Talk Family Enterprise podcast is brought to you by Family Enterprise Canada.

Harnessing Conflict: How Family Businesses Can Survive and Thrive by Nicole Garton

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury and Bruce Patton

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman


More about Family Enterprise Canada

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