Karen LaRose is a founding Principal at ACCORD, a collaborative of conflict management and resolution specialists serving both individuals and businesses. Conflicts are often costly—financially, emotionally and relationally. Accord Principals strategize with individuals and organizations and help move them towards resolution of their disputes. Previously Ms. LaRose served as President and CEO of The KLM Group, Inc., from 1995 until January, 2011, a family business she co-founded with her sister and business partner. Ms. LaRose is affiliated with KLM Consulting Group, Inc., and started her career public accounting.
Ms. LaRose earned an MS in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University where her thesis took a look at “Families in Business: Conflict in a Dynamical System.” She has served as program coordinator and assistant researcher at Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4), The Earth Institute at Columbia University, and is currently an Assistant Researcher at The Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Ms LaRose received her BS in Accounting from Drexel University in Philadelphia and her MBA from The Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia. Ms. LaRose has also studied at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and has completed The Tuck School of Business-WBENC Executive Program. Ms. LaRose is certified to administer, interpret and coach based on the results of the Emotional Intelligence Assessment (EQ-I 2.0) and the Neethling Brain Instrument (NBI). She is a mediator at the Connecticut Children’s Law Center, a member of the Association of Conflict Resolution and a member of the Board of Directors of many local organizations in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
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An Action Plan for Family Business Conflicts
Hurtful relationship remarks can be understood as expressions of unmet needs for respect, appreciation, autonomy and acknowledgement. Unfortunately, even mild expressions of frustrations felt in family businesses, if left unattended, have consequences. Family business disputes are especially emotional, and repeated hurts and miscommunications accumulate into grudges, damaging silence, and feelings of injustice. They can, and often do, result in costly legal actions among family members. Relationships can become difficult or impossible to heal after such ordeals.
Family Business Conflict: Flexible Solutions
In a family business conflict, relationships are embedded in a system of family dynamics and a business system. It is impossible to separate the two components: familial relationships and business relationships. One informs the other in a circular fashion. This article discusses the correct mediation approach to working with the two systems.