I’d like to tell you a little story about two consultants. It’s based on a situation I’ve seen several times in my career where management and organizational problems are unfortunately misdiagnosed. This is not a little thing. It happens often and, when it does, it hurts the business and the people involved. What makes this situation so common and how can you make sure you aren’t contributing to the problem? Read on to find out and decide which kind of consultant you want to be.
Two consultants from different companies walk into a Restaurant. They had been summoned there at the same time by a potential client. As they scanned the room they spotted the vice president with whom they would meet sipping her club soda. The consultants made their way to the client’s table and sat down. After brief introductions the client said to them, “I’m having trouble with two of my department managers. They seem to be at odds constantly, always picking at each other. I’ve talked with them both but to no avail. I don’t know what to do.” She went on to say that she wanted to give both consultants a chance to win her business. “You each have 24 hours, she said, to evaluate the problem and tell me the solution.” Both consultants eagerly accepted the challenge and all agreed to meet back in the restaurant the next day.
Greg Baker, on July 31, 2015
What’s that you say? Your organization has “communication problems”? I’ve heard that one before. It’s almost as common as “A guy walks into a bar…”, but not as funny. If there is a funny part it is that people often speak with apparent authority about “communication problems” without understanding what causes them at the root. Consequently, when we don’t understand problems at their root, we can never solve them. This article drills in on five top causes of business communication problems. It helps expose communication problems as mostly symptoms, not core problems.
No organizational structure is perfect, but many of them across business today could be a lot better. The challenge is that many structures out there breed unintentional conflict. Does yours? Perhaps it’s time to rethink your organizational structure.
In my recent blog article, A Solution for Managing Unintentional Conflict in Operations, I described how a client company resolved the “unintentional conflict” created by their contract processing operation. They resolved it by creating a “shared operational space” where work was accomplished with much greater harmony and efficiency. Their results were stunning – a near 300% improvement in contract cycle time. In this article I provide some “how-to’s” for you to align your business operations to manage conflict, and talk a little more about the importance of creating shared space in business operations to prevent conflict in the first place.
Greg Baker, on June 30, 2012
In my recent Advance Update article, Managing Unintentional Conflict in Business, I introduced a phenomenon at work in our businesses today that I have labeled “Unintentional Conflict.” I described how unintentional conflict shows up at the individual, operational, and organizational levels, and is quite prevalent in our business enterprises. In this blog I will focus on managing unintentional conflict in operations by resolving my example of unintentional conflict to create what we call operational “shared space”.