Conflicts Help Optimize Business Processes

While reading Lean Solutions (thanks Judith!), I came across this paragraph:

And the one thing we can conclude for certain, based on our years of observing faulty processes, is that if you drop good people into a bad process you quickly end up with a lot of “bad” people assigning blame to each other.

I have experienced this phenomena of teams gone bad myself several times while being employed or working on the spot with customers and observing their corporate culture.

Here are some symptoms:

  • Political games or bullying kill creativity and the ability to concentrate
  • Others think about others that they are incompetent
  • … and truly incompetent people do not get fired
  • No one speaks the truth and real conflicts are being avoided
  • Emotions are being classified as unprofessional

It all comes down to a company not capable or interested in optimizing its processes, which is effectively the same as not respecting each employee’s motivation for doing a great job. This is where a lot of frustration erodes the company’s business potentials.

Japanese car producers have shown that tightly structured work processes are not the domain of Germans only🙂. Optimized processes are key to success. Monopolists can afford to be chaotic – but there will come the day where a competitor with much better processes will seriously attack the monopolist.

Breaking the spell of an inefficient work environment is actually simple, yet it starts with the behavior of each individual person in the company. Hence, it requires courage:

  • Speak for yourself, practice radical honesty, say how you feel
  • Don’t hold back just because others might not like what you are saying

Being good to yourself does not mean that you disrespect others or that you are a trouble maker. Quite the opposite, this is actually the best way how to show respect, because by being honest and straight forward, everyone else has the chance to react upon what you are saying (even if it means that you might realize you are wrong and act like an idiot – we are all human…).

Well, of course, if you realize that the company is still not good to you, then you’ll have to leave.

Once, each employee feels taken serious and is able to express himself, business issues instead of personal fights will regain attention. Only by clearly addressing conflicts, there’s a chance that business processes can be optimized. Conflict resolution is key to business process optimization and to support teams in striving for a common goal.

2 thoughts on “Conflicts Help Optimize Business Processes

  1. A very good summary of the benefits of dealing with conflict rather than simply avoiding them.

    If we pander to our first instinct and avoid possible conflict then we simply lose communication. But the problem isn’t resolved and it often forces its way out in some previously unexpected way.

    I haven’t read Radical Honesty, but I believe that by speaking our mind – courteously and with respect – we are being true to ourselves and the other person.

    By speaking the truth we are saying to the other person “I respect you enough to presume that we can have an honest dialogue.”

    Thanks for sharing.

    Neil

    Like

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