The Innovation Side of Conflict

The Innovation Side of Conflict

“How could conflict possibly be good for a business?” Conflict is not good or bad, or something that we can guard against like the flu. Conflict is a natural part of human behavior and a necessary part of teamwork, innovation, problem-solving, and change. What we do with the opposing ideas or needs that we call conflict can result in positive or negative outcomes, depending on how we handle them.

Read More

Constructive Conflict: 4 Steps to Create Innovation Generating Teams

Constructive Conflict: 4 Steps to Create Innovation Generating Teams

Conflict, when well managed, can breathe life and energy into workplace relationships that inspire more productivity, creativity and innovation. How, as a leader, do you start to create the kind of organizational dynamics that harness the power of constructive conflict?  Read on…

Read More

Constructive Conflict: Your Most Important Change Management Tool

Constructive Conflict: Your Most Important Change Management Tool

Conflict is a natural aspect of any change process, and well-managed constructive conflict will in fact accelerate and enhance success. Or, more to the point, unmanaged negative conflict can create a speed bump that will slow the process to near-stop – or a rocky landslide that causes long-term damage in its wake.

As a leader, which side of conflict do you want to be on?

The leader who sees conflict as a useful tool rather than a negative thing to avoid at all costs, helps increase employee engagement and the vibrant exchange of ideas that take your business on the innovation and growth path.

So how do you start to create the kind of organizational dynamics that harness the power of constructive conflict?  Read on…

Read More

A Case for Disagreeing in the Workplace

A Case for Disagreeing in the Workplace

The title of a Harvard Business Review article snagged my attention: “Why We Should Be Disagreeing More at Work.” I have made a science and life’s work out of this concept, called (perhaps loftily) “conflict competence,” and to see it described so simply really turned my head. Author Amy Gallo’s take is refreshing and spot-on, and a recommended read.  

Read More

Workplace Conflict: How to Make It Good for Business

Workplace Conflict: How to Make It Good for Business

Instead of avoiding conflict which only makes it more destructive, welcome conflict in your workplace as a tool for creative interaction, innovation, and employee engagement. Well-managed conflict is good for business!

Read More

Creative Tension in the Workplace: Who needs it? You do!

Creative Tension in the Workplace: Who needs it? You do!

Creative Tension Zone is where huge ideas emerge, innovation thrives, and empires are built! The most successful workplace teams know how to manage constructive conflict to encourage creative tension. What every leader needs to know about leveraging the power of conflict in a team.

Read More

How Conflict Can Help Your Workplace Team

How Conflict Can Help Your Workplace Team

“Conflict, when well managed, can breathe life and energy into workplace relationships that inspire more productivity, creativity and innovation.” ~ Mark Batson Baril

Conflict - probably not the first item on your business-building success list, right?  However, conflict is a natural occurrence in your workplace and can either catalyze positive experiences that boost growth, or negative experiences that have been known to break a company. So, time to put it on your list!

Read More

Step 1 to harnessing "good" conflict in your workplace

Step 1 to harnessing "good" conflict in your workplace

What is harnessing "good conflict?" Building strong teams that embrace and encourage creative exchange of ideas, collaboration, respect, trust, making and keeping agreements. Here is a great first-step tool to help your team build these qualities to become an innovation asset and productivity-driver for your organization.

Read More

Dear Startup Investor: Why You Need to Know about Conflict Before You Commit

Dear Startup Investor: Why You Need to Know about Conflict Before You Commit

The truth is that starting up is one thing, but staying alive is another. Research shows that half of new business startups fail within the first five years of operation, and over 60% fail due to negative outcomes from conflict. Noam Wasserman’s research on startups, described in his best-selling book The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup, reveals this: Most business startups ‘sink’ not because of lack of planning, failure to test the market or undercapitalization, but rather due to interpersonal complexities, destructive co-founder disputes, destructive team dynamics, and people problems.

Another truth is that conflict is a necessary part of successfully running a business. This is because conflict is a natural occurrence which can happen any time two or more individuals have different ideas, wants, and needs. Conflict is normal in any environment. However, if not properly managed, conflict can escalate into disagreement and become entrenched to a point of no return for a young, fragile business.

Read More

The Leader’s Guide: How to Use Constructive Conflict as an Innovation Generator

The Leader’s Guide: How to Use Constructive Conflict as an Innovation Generator

This is the second in our series of Leader’s Guides on harnessing the power of conflict. Conflict, when well managed, can breathe life and energy into workplace relationships that inspire more productivity, creativity and innovation.

I talked in the previous article, The Leader’s Guide: The Key to Boosting Employee Engagement in Your Workplace: It’s Not What You Think, about what conflict is - a natural occurrence in a workplace that can either be a positive or a negative experience. And that a leader who sees conflict as a useful tool rather than a negative thing to avoid, helps increase employee engagement and the vibrant exchange of ideas that take your business on the innovation and growth path.

So how, as a leader, do you start to create the kind of organizational dynamics that harness the power of constructive conflict?  Read on...

Read More

The Most Effective Innovation Generator You've Probably Never Heard of

The Most Effective Innovation Generator You've Probably Never Heard of

Many businesses rely on innovation for success. There is a lot of literature on how to encourage the creative thinking that inspires innovation, but you won’t often hear this tip: Welcome conflict into your teams! Yet this is exactly what I’m enthusiastically promoting. It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Most leaders are busy looking for ways to avoid fights and disputes, not invite them.

Conflict is a natural part of human behavior and...

Read More

3 Reasons You Should be Talking about Conflict in the Workplace

3 Reasons You Should be Talking about Conflict in the Workplace

Is conflict helping or hurting your workplace?  Does this even seem like a plausible question to you? I understand if it doesn’t – the term “conflict” generally has a negative connotation, something to be avoided or resolved immediately before it finds itself in a courtroom and costing a business millions.

The truth is that you DO have conflict in your workplace at one time or another. Conflict naturally occurs when two or more people have divergent ideas, needs, and wants. It’s normal, inevitable and every organization experiences it. This is why you should be talking about conflict in your workplace – because unaddressed or poorly managed conflict could cost your business in more ways than you might think.

Read More

Harness the Power of Conflict to Spur Innovation & Productivity

Harness the Power of Conflict to Spur Innovation & Productivity

Constructive Conflict is an extremely valuable tool that can help business teams enhance performance when it is actively and thoughtfully engaged in. The unplanned for and haphazard use of conflict within teams can sometimes enhance performance, yet carries with it the greater risk of negative outcomes when compared to anticipated and structured intellectual conflict interactions. Without some constructive conflict planning, teams tend towards conflict avoidance and accomodating behavior that can lead to stagnation and destructive conflicts.

Read More

Got Innovation? Quantify your team’s conflict capacity with the Innovation Estimator™

Got Innovation? Quantify your team’s conflict capacity with the Innovation Estimator™

I last wrote about the new Conflict Calculator™ and the benefits of measuring the costs associated with negative conflict outcomes in teams. This time I’d like to focus on the flip side of that equation, the cost to a business for not having a team dynamic that embraces and uses conflict for positive outcomes.

Read More

Conflict Curve Theory and How It Fits High Potential Startups and Their Investors

Conflict Curve Theory and How It Fits High Potential Startups and Their Investors

The dynamics of people working with each other is complex. The area of strong relationships and extreme idea exchange is called the Creative Tension Zone. Teams fall out of the Creative Tension Zone for a variety of reasons. This article is intended to help you build a greater awareness around the idea that tension can tip into destructive conflict and is predictable. I believe that in any part of our businesses, being as aware as possible of what is happening all around us, in real time, is the key to making good decisions and staying in high growth mode. The last post talked about warning signs that conflict is brewing. Here I’ll broaden that view a little by talking about the Conflict Curve. It’s fascinating!

Read More

Tight Rope Walking 101: High Potential Startups Balance between Creative Tension and Destructive Conflict Every Day

Tight Rope Walking 101: High Potential Startups Balance between Creative Tension and Destructive Conflict Every Day

I have put together and delivered a workshop at several business incubators recently.  I have fun with it because I really enjoy watching the faces of the participants when a piece of information answers a question they have been struggling with for years. What is that question?

Read More