avoiding sand under the saddle
65% of start ups fail because of issues within the management team.
We help you avoid that by helping you be clear with each other on key aspects of co-founding whether you are at the beginning of that journey
(start up) or some way down (scale up).
Contact us to create Your Partnership Charter.
overview of process
6 simple steps
Individual reflection: you reflect on 7 key questions and write out answers
Private confidential conversation with the Resolution Pod: time to explore your answers
Insights: the Resolution Pod shares appropriate information from the sessions with your partner(s) and sets the agenda for step 4
Explore and agree: discussion chaired by the Resolution Pod
We create Your Partnership Charter - a living document which captures the essential points of your partnership (and informs legal documents such as a shareholders agreement)
Quarterly review for 1 year
the starting point: 7 key questions
What are your expectations of this venture, for you as a person and for the business?
What are you bringing to the venture going forward?
What are you expecting from your co-founder(s)?
How do you see your respective roles and responsibilities?
Are you ok with how reward (equity and compensation) is split (or is that yet to be agreed, in which case, what are your thoughts)?
How much of this do you think is firmly agreed between you?
What do you anticipate as the main challenges to your partnership and what would you like to happen then?
How long does it take?
A day or two (split over half days) for steps 1 - 3. They can be spread out as required. The Partnership Charter is usually provided within 7 days of step 4. Quarterly checks up for a year. Process is adapted if required.
How much does it cost?
Guide price: £1k per founder. Costs may vary depending on complexity of issues.
What do I get for this?
The process will lead to the creation of Your Partnership Charter: a living document which records your agreements on the key aspects of your partnership. The Partnership Charter is a living document that you will continue to adapt as you progress in your partnership and certain issues become clearer or your circumstances, roles, and company change. The process in itself is of great value as it demonstrates to you (and to investors) your ability to tackle what can be difficult conversations and find the way forward. It equips you to handle other challenges you will have with each other down the road.
Do you give us the answers?
Only you can decide what is best for your business as you are the ones who have to live by it. We help you have the conversations so you can reach the best decisions for your business. We provide you with a write up with recommendations if appropriate (discussions you still need to have, what you could do to help you resolve them).
Do you give legal advice?
Although our legal background helps us inform the conversations, we will not be providing legal advice. We may be able to however indicate when legal advice is needed. The Partnership Charter i is not a legal document but could serve as a basis for your joint venture agreement or shareholder agreement as applicable.
How do you know you can help
We have advised a multitude of founders and executives on tricky situations and helped them find resolution.
Two friends decide to set up a business. They think they should go in 50/50 (although one brings more experience than the other, has a wider network and feels he probably should be more rewarded).
They go through the Resolution Pod’s Foundations Process and
realise there are other options for equity split such as Slicing Pie which they decide to adopt as it will feel fairer to them both
set up a mechanism to ensure they do not avoid difficult subjects in the future
decide to appoint an independent adviser who will act as arbitrator if they cannot agree on key decisions so that disagreements do not damage their relationship.
The Foundations Process brought out subjects for discussion they did not realise they needed to have and enabled them to tackle important conversations they would have otherwise avoided until too late.
Revisiting early decision
Two founders met and started up. They decided on 50/50 and broad roles. Fast forward a few years. One feels he is contributing much more than the other and is resenting it.
They attempt to discuss it but clearly founder 2 sees things differently. She had the idea after all.
Founder 1 is tempted to back down. After all they have to get along. She is worried tackling it head on again is going to cause a real clash which their relationship will not recover from. But it is “sand under the saddle” and will cause friction over time.
They call in the Resolution Pod to go through their Foundations Process to help the business look at a number of key decisions with an eye to scaling in the future. The conversation enables the founders to clear the air. Turns out Founder 2 felt Founder 1 was lacking some key skills. The founders agree to new ways of working enabling them to focus on growth.
Tech company has been going for 5 years and is now 200 strong, looking to be bought by a VC. They know the next stage requires some rethinking of their existing set up.
The exec team use the Foundations Process to help them decide
Who of the two co-founders will be CEO
Whether those in C level positions need to be replaced by people with more experience and if so how to handle that fairly
The Foundations Process enables them to structure these conversations, have them safely and constructively.
""Sophie provided valuable advice on a co-founder conflict. Sophie's advice allowed me to navigate a complicated and consequential situation effectively and efficiently. I would not hesitate to recommend Sophie to anyone who needs advice." CEO, Charity