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Managing Organisational Conflict

Transformational processes of change can often involve conflict. When a change process challenges people´s mind-sets, identities and relationships, an organisation can feel a bit shaken. It is not easy for any of us to leave our comfort zones, neither is it easy to manage this process. What can be done when people don’t like what they see in the mirror or just refuse to look?

Although organisations have visible structures, policies and procedures in place to help regulate organisational life, there is still an invisible dimension that we commonly refer to as the organisational culture. It relates to those unwritten norms and habits that we accept and follow unconsciously. This culture often establishes relationships of power, rank and privilege amongst people both on the inside and the outside of the organisation. When such relationships are unbalanced, organisations and individuals tend to lose part of their transformative potential.

Conflict arises when this imbalance is made explicit through collective group work exploration. Our aim is to take people through a process in which they can reflect critically on these relationships to co-create the future of their organisation to its maximum potential. There are various tools that can help us during these processes. Over the next month we will be discussing some of these, such as Adam Kahane´s Modes of Conversation…

"I keep six honest serving-men
 (They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When 
 And How and Where and Who."

-Rudyard Kipling