I established FBI to share with other advisers what I think I’ve learnt about working with business families over the past 30 or more years. I want to help them produce better outcomes for their own family business clients. In all of my work … I’m a solutionist. I love solving problems for individuals, families, businesses and organisations by facilitating, or mediating, better “personal and group think” than whatever it was that created their problem(s) in the first place. I hate the word “compromise”, and will do (almost) whatever it takes to help individuals, and family groups, to resolve their differences and conflicts, and get onto the same page. My goal is always to help produce: “a happier family and a stronger business” – I don’t ever want to see individuals or families sacrificed for commercial interests, or vice versa, as so often happens with traditional advisory practices. In my universe everyone, and every thing, needs to come out the other side in better shape than when we started.

Experience

My career has been a series of professional evolutions:
I began studying and training to be a lawyer, graduating with honours from Manchester University in the UK.
One year off for travel after uni stretched into four years of work: first as a scuba diving instructor in the Red Sea; then as an underwater photographer on the oil rigs of the North and Java Seas; then I got into adventure travel promotion - involving photography, writing and public speaking, based in London.
When that became boring I got married and began studying to become a Chartered Accountant. On qualifying in the UK I joined Deloitte, and went to Central Africa for a couple of years, to work in audit and business services.
I then migrated to Australia, with my wife and 1.6 children, and settled in Perth. There I qualified as an arbitrator, helped to introduce mediation to Australia, and founded Deloitte’s first Litigation Support Division.
We were hugely successful and Deloittes transferred me to Melbourne to develop a national Forensic Accounting practice. I was lured into Ernst & Young’s Forensic Group, from which I extracted myself a year or so later to develop my own dispute resolution practice – I wanted to focus on resolving conflicts constructively, rather than fighting court battles on technicalities.
The motto of my new practice (“Dispute Solutions”) was: “cutting the costs of conflict”. Dispute Solutions still functions, mainly for commercial disputes, and that’s still what it does. That approach attracted a lot of business and professional partnerships … and business families – all of whom wanted their issues resolved, rather than fought out to the last drop of their funds.
Around the turn of the last century family businesses became louder and more visible. At the same time, arbitration and mediation were becoming increasingly “over-lawyered”, “overly-academic” and, as a result, severely “process-constricted”. Family business advisory – with its clear need for flexibly constructive solutions that didn’t burn or break anyone or anything through its own process – looked like my personal and professional Nirvana – so I adapted and evolved ... and became a family business solutionist.
Nearly 20 years later my work is morphing yet again: into training other professionals to become more highly skilled, and more trustworthy advisers to business families, and to their colleagues and other clients. This is why I launched FBI in 2016, after more than 5 years in development – to focus on training, mentoring and supporting those advisers who really care about being as good as they can be … for their own and for their clients’ sakes.

Qualifications

Law | LLB (hons) Manchester University (UK)
Accountancy | Chartered Accountant (UK and Australia); CPA (Australia).
Dispute Resolution | Arbitrator (Grade 1).
Advanced Mediator | (Resolution Institute and National Mediation Accreditation Standards).
Family Business | Fellow (FBI); Accredited Adviser (FBA)
Teaching | Post Grad Teaching Certificate, Exeter University (UK)
Scuba Diving | Professional Instructor (2 star)
Commercial Diving | Class 1 Commercial (oil rig) Diver (UK)

Other Relevant Websites

http://solutionist.com.au/

Fields of Expertise

Issues

Crisis / Disaster Management
We're in trouble!
Family Issues & Challenges
Family Alignment
Family Business Best Practice
Assessments, Surveys & Diagnostics
Family Plans
Family Systems
Stewardship & Legacy
Family Conflict
Family Dynamics & Emotional Issues
Behavioural Problems
Communication Issues
Disengagement (current/nextgen)
Domineering Parents
Entitlement
Fairness
Family Challenges (general)
Family Conflict
Family Dysfunction
Family Law
Family Meetings
Fossilised Parents
Intergenerational Tension
Old Bull:Young Bull
Performance Expectations
Relationship Issues
Roles, Responsibility & Accountability
Sibling Rivalry
Family Plans
Family Alignment
Family Structures & Systems
Best Practice Structures & Systems
Codes of Conduct
Communication & Problem Solving
Conflict Management
Decision Making
Family Constitution / Charter (Rules)
Family Council
Family Culture
Family Meetings
Family Office
Family Retreat
Governance - Family Boards
Grievances
Individual Roles & Responsibilities
Family Succession
Family Plans3
Leagacy Plans
Ownership
Succession Plans

Services

Boards & Governance
Business Board
Advisory Board
Family Board
Family Council
Family Office
Governance
Roles, Responsibility & Accountability
Strategy vs Operations
Business Advisory
Boards
Advisory Board
Business Board
Corporate Governance
Business Plans
Budgets & Cashflows
Business Continuity Plans
Business Improvement
Business Professionalisation
Goal Setting (Business)
Planning Workshops
Strategy Plans
Succession Plans
Coaching & Mentoring
Coaching & Mentoring
Communication & Dialogue Coaching
Dialogue Coaching
Mentoring
Relationship Management
Conflict Resolution & Mediation
Communication Training
Conflict Management
Constructive Dialogue
Dialogue Coaching
Mediation - Family
Meeting Facilitation
Problem Solving
Relationship Repair
Education & Development Services
Next Generation Education
Leadership Development
Personal Development
Board Training
Family Business Best Practice
7 Elements of Best Practice
Coaching & Mentoring
Education - Next Generation
Family Constitutions
Family Diagnostics
Family Office
Family Plans
Governance - Family
Lead Adviser
Meetings
Mutual Obligations Charters
Plans - Family
Poilices & Procedures
Project Management
Public Relations
Roles, Responsibility & Accountability
Structures & Systems
Succession & Transition Plans
Facilitation Services
Conflict Management
Mediation
Facilitation
Communication Training
Conflict Management
Culture Building
Family Dynamics
Project Management
Meetings
Boards
Business Meetings
Crisis Management
Family Meetings
Family Retreats
Family Teambuilding
Project Management
Teams
Plans
Brand & Marketing Strategy
Business Plans
Family Plans
Family Succession
Strategy Plans
Workshops
Family Workshops
Values Workshops
Visioning Workshops
Psychological / Human Services
Behavioural Challenges
Communication Training
Group Dynamics (Family / Business)
Relationship Repair
Founder & Chair, at Family Business Institute
0414 816 789
0414 816 789
jonk@fbinstitute.com.au