Where there is more than one person, there is politics. Where there is politics, there is internal conflict Tolstoy wrote, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” So it is with organizations, small or large.
That is one view about internal conflicts. There is another. Each is unique, but there are common patterns. If you can resolve conflicts in the major patterns, you can extrapolate to deal with the specific conflict you need to resolve.
Every organization I’ve been in has had conflicts. Some merely took the executive team’s attention away from more important matters. Attention is creative energy and the conflict used up attention and time. Some conflicts were very severe: a hidden agenda causing the organization to totter or fail. Little conflicts can grow into big ones. Witness the civil war in Syria beginning as a peaceful protest, the massive anti-government campaign in Brazil in June 2013 beginning as complaints about a small increase in bus fares, or the single desperate street seller in Tunisia who lit himself and so the Arab Spring.
How do you cope with conflicts? Can you prevented them? Once they occur, do you need an outside mediator or can they be handled internally?
Details are critical: the actual working modes and sense of autonomy or subjugation of your organization’s staff; outside pressures, personalities, whether people can examine themselves, whether they are willing to change or to come together as a group.
Internal conflicts weaken organizations and can destroy them. I resolve conflicts quickly so the staff is creative, happy, and productive. Now the executives can concentrate on the organization’s goals and lead it to success.