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For the rest of us…

No human community exists that “doesn’t have conflict”.
The problem is that most of it is avoided, hidden, unnoticed, unmanaged or mismanaged.

Leaving that ‘as-is’ has a staggering impact on lives, creativity, and focus. It threatens establishments, harmony, and reputations.

To stop that rot, reliance on formal dispute settlement must be reversed so that the vast majority of conflict management takes place at the lowest, cheapest, and most effective level, by the people involved.

This is the guiding principle of what is now globally referred to as Integrated Conflict Management Systems [ICMS]. These structures represent an entirely new paradigm that enhances HR’s performance. It does this by cutting conflict’s effects measurably, increasing engagement and high quality feedback regarding underlying interests, trends, hotspots and opportunities.

Integrated Conflict Management Systems [ICMS]


Conflict Management is not a stand alone function.

It permeates the lifeblood and culture of an organisation. This happens through a conflict competent workforce, and is employed through a purposefully structured and integrated system that percolates through all areas of an organisation. A well designed conflict management system is dependent on a workforce with skills to manage conflict on their own, at the earliest stage, and at the lowest possible level.

Organisational conflict management principles and implementations are not only applicable to commercial enterprises. There is also a long list of examples in government, health care, IGO’s, NGO’s, non-profits, schools and universities.


Managing an Integrated Conflict management is not the domain of outside consultants.
Consultants are only needed for the period from consideration of the benefits of a modern conflict management system, through to the point where the system has sufficient buy in, training, logistics, and management imbedded for it to be managed internally.

Consultation must be processed based. Process Consultation means that the consultant works with and not for the client in a partnership that draws on the knowledge of both to fit organisational needs first and foremost.

The most important function of an Integrated Conflict Management System is to ensure that the vast majority of conflict can, and is being managed internally, by ordinary people.


The newly designed system should also be considered a “living system,” implementing numerous generic processes might be effective in the beginning, but how does the small business modify the processes to make it more effective in resolving disputes as your workforce evolves and the environment changes? Continuous modification of the systems, trainings, policies, procedures and processes should not be considered as a system failure but a proactive step of improvement, while ensuring that disputes are resolved efficiently and effectively ~ Matthew W. Burr | //