I have developed a healthy curiosity about organizations and how they mature and against what some may term as better judgment, I took the leap of faith to understand the effect of people on systems. My laboratory is now in academia and my resources are faculty, students, and the wider community with which I interact. My perverse interest in conflict analysis and its resolution within organizations came to fruition after being involved in Collective Bargaining relationships which were often seen as a battle; brutal on the end product. Relationships were fractured and those hurt feelings had a way of interrupting the operations of the entities with which I was affiliated.
For every interaction with persons who were on the other side of the table and with the mean spirited discussions that would emanate from either side, I kept thinking there has to be a different, less hostile engagement of the forces that were in essence seeking the same things. The word transformation echoed continuously throughout my being. I decided to answer the call by seeking to understand the phenomenon called conflict.
So here I am, two years into a Doctoral Program, with an even greater zeal to reveal novel ways to get organizations to change the narrative. There is so much data from Collective Bargaining archives that if studied and analyzed, have the capability to provide clues to improving the engagement process between managers and union, managers and workers and so on. To not take the time to understand the dynamics at play is to continue to court disastrous outcomes brought on by the big ‘C’ – Conflict.
I want to understand:
What makes people tick?
Why is debilitating conflict rampant in some organization’s and not others?
Are we hiring the right talent for the right roles?
Are we training for the right reasons?
How do we measure goal attainment?
How do we preserve relationships without losing our authority (voice of the Company)?
These questions and so many more are drivers of why I am on this journey. The key is transformation, not just in the infrastructure, but in the policies, attitudes and narratives. The Companies that continue to invest in continuous improvements particularly in the area of engagement with its stake-holders, I submit, will realize greater mileage for their efforts than those who continue to recycle the same failed ideas.
© Suzette Henry – Campbell 2014