Does your organization have the structures in place to tap into the potential offered by disagreement and diversity? New thinking, ideas and innovation come from differences in opinion and continuous feedback so learning becomes a norm. Conflict is something to be harnessed, not discouraged, particularly if agility and teamwork are key drivers. Creating conditions for successful dialogue around the important issues is a simple and inexpensive way to impact productivity.
Constructive conflict is best supported by systems and processes designed to encourage direct and on-going communication with efficiency and clarity. Even minor changes in information flow, performance management processes and leadership approaches can unlock the potential of large transformation.
Organizational processes that benefit from consideration of potential impact on conflict include; business strategy development (engagement and HR strategies), culture change efforts, meeting management, communication (electronic, face to face), feedback (giving and receiving), hiring and retention programs, organizational learning processes, and of course, the organization's formal conflict resolution process. To identify the biggest opportunities, answer the following questions: What is Appreciative Inquiry? Appreciative Inquiry turns the old idea of organizational change on its head. Instead of focusing on finding the problems, it asks stakeholders to explore questions such as: What is the organization doing right? What are the organization’s ideals and goals? What are the employees’ dreams and future plans? What was your best day at work, and what made it so great? How can you have more best days? If you woke up tomorrow and the organization was perfect, what would that look like? How can the organization do good in the world? A Strengths-Based Approach Through a variety of different methods, an individual’s, organization’s or entire community’s strengths are recognized and can be capitalized on. Opportunities are identified and can be pursued. Managers, employees, customers and neighbors all feel heard and acknowledged. The result is happier employees and lower turnover, higher-performing employees, more collaboration with leadership, more creativity and a stronger community or organization.