The process of finding common ground and reaching sustainable agreement is by definition creative, and has the potential to unlock astounding results.
Conflict is normal, and resolving conflict saves money. That is self-evident. It is the first of two main opportunities positive change that conflict brings.
The second/next important opportunity from managed conflict: creativity.
Conflict is characterised by the fixed positions of two people. One’s position is ‘A’, the other’s is B – there’s little to work with – and compromises are sub-optimal. Positions and compromises contaminate productivity.
It is vital that employees have the skills to move from ‘positions’ to interests. There’s a message that says…
- You have been trained to find real solutions.
- You are expected to find real solutions.
- You are expected to deal with conflict as it comes up.
- Me and you vs. the problem [as opposed to me vs. you]
- Solution-seeking through brainstorming.
- Win-win outcomes.
Great outcomes are possible with creative collaboration. That often leads to innovation.
Harnessing conflict generates cost savings, motivation, “presenteeism”, creativity and innovation. These are opportunities that are buried in conflict situations.
A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader ones understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have ~ Steve Jobs