An Ounce of Prevention
The Best Way to Manage Conflict
Left unmanaged, conflict often results in people being thrown under the bus. This painful experience typically leads to more bus throwing and can degrade into faction formation and battle lines being drawn. This is extremely damaging to a business – not to mention the people in it. But how do you approach conflict management in business?
The best way to approach conflict management is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Can we prevent all conflict in our lives and businesses? No. Conflict is, unfortunately, part of the human condition, and in our world of business it is important that we are able to deal with it when it occurs. Nevertheless, as the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Based on our research, experience, and a book by our President and CEO, the genesis of most conflict in business is unintentional. And better yet, unlike intentional conflict, “Unintentional Conflict” can be realistically and pragmatically prevented. Furthermore, managing Unintentional Conflict is a powerful tool for improving performance in your business. Our preliminary research indicates that a sample billion dollar company can more than double its profits by reducing unintentional conflict by a mere 20%! Now that’s conflict management.
Our Innovative Approach
We have found that Unintentional Conflict is created at all enterprise levels: organizational, operational, and individual. We can prevent its genesis at each of these levels by creating what we call “Shared Space.” Within a shared space people can collaborate, align, and work together effectively.
Shared Space is a universal concept that applies equally to the way we organize our businesses, the way we define processes and systems, the way we make decisions, and so on. In other words, it applies to the entire business enterprise, and is a powerful approach for managing conflict and dramatically improving business performance.
How to Get Started
An initial no-cost consultation with one of our expert consultants is a good way to start. This will help clarify your business goals and target areas of concern. At that point you will probably want to get a better idea of the size and causes of unintentional conflict in your business, ideally without a major investment in time or resources. That is exactly what our Unintentional Conflict Enterprise Assessment is designed to do for you.
Whether your scope is a single department or an entire enterprise, the Enterprise Assessment will give you the information you need to communicate and build alignment within your business for the ultimate change initiatives aimed at preventing conflict and improving your business performance.