As a business executive, you’re likely juggling finance, legal, HR matters and more on a daily basis. You have a myriad of crucial responsibilities and in the midst of executing such tasks 24/7, you might miss a few happenings occurring right under your nose.
Some of which could be detrimental to your company and to you, personally.
As the founder of a business intelligence agency, no scenario surprises me. In fact, just the other day a client asked we conduct due diligence on potential business partners, only for my firm to uncover those subjects were sued various times for illegally attempting to overtake other companies.
Here is Part One of a three-part series showcasing a few different situations I’ve seen time and again that you should pay attention to, and my advice on how to address them.
Scenario 1: When your partners are attempting to stage a coup
What To Do:
Background Checks: Before you partner with them, conduct background checks to better understand their reputation, criminal background (if any), legal conflicts and more. Remember, don’t rely only on asking around, Google and calling their references. Instead, utilize unbiased professionals or platforms. LexisNexis is a great example of a platform that can source information from 50+ countries, including litigation cases and more.
Identify Motive: When you see this is happening, make it your main goal to understand their motivation and interests. Are they trying to gain money? To take over the whole company? To soil your reputation? To get you out and buy your shares at a low price? Or maybe they’re trying to get ahold of your patents. Either way, understanding their interests will take you on the right path to addressing the issue at hand.
For example, my firm has a case where the CEO was placing the company in debt in order to have it liquidated so he could ultimately purchase it through a third-party sans our client’s involvement. After reviewing the CEO’s actions & conducting our own investigation, we were able to inform our client that this was the subject’s true intentions and provide the appropriate solution.
Consult a Professional: If your partners indeed managed to remove you from the company, it’s important to consult a lawyer as this scenario is quite complex to reverse. Though it’s best to avoid this situation altogether, you now must collect as much evidence as you can to show that the actions to remove you were intentional and not exercised in good faith. That evidence might live in emails, recorded conversations and more. Many times, we help our clients collect such evidence to assist them during this stage.
In Part Two of this series I will dissect how to address when a breach of information within your company takes place – whether that means databases have been hacked or an upcoming product launch has been leaked.