Insights for Leaders

Constructive Conflict

Posted on: April 30th, 2010 | 0 Comments

“The whole business starts with ideas, and we’re convinced ideas come out of an environment of supportive conflict, which is synonymous with appropriate friction.” — Michael Eisner, former CEO, Walt Disney Co.

Research suggests 30-40% of a manager’s daily activities are devoted to dealing with some form of conflict; and, in more than half of instances in which conflict appears, it is glossed over and avoided. According to Richard Pascale of Oxford University, “Only one time in five (20%) is conflict surfaced, debated and authentically resolved.”

Conflict itself is neither inherently good nor bad; the outcome is determined by how you manage it — if managed appropriately, conflict can have a positive and even transforming effect.

The Bottom Line: Leaders engage in constructive conflict, knowing it can be the doorway to creativity and consensus.