(CAMBRIDGE, MA) – A new, results-oriented white paper from Interaction Associates details three essential actions for leaders to move an organization from conflict to consensus – an often thorny process that can undo leadership and change initiatives when not handled successfully.
“Failure to achieve consensus is often why important company shifts or key leadership initiatives fail at many companies,” according to Patty McManus, Collaboration Consultant at Interaction Associates and author of the white paper titled, “From Conflict to Consensus: Three Critical Actions for Leaders.” “Without consensus, people move further apart, role conflicts and skirmishes multiply, and teams disintegrate into lone agents: negative patterns which are very costly at most companies,” added McManus. Download the white paper here: http://bit.ly/8ZcCNt
Consensus involves key stakeholders agreeing to support a new strategy or change initiative, regardless of where they might have been at the start of the process or whether they preferred another direction. “From Conflict to Consensus” details three essential actions for leaders to pursue in moving towards alignment, including:
Air Differences: Healthy, strong consensus can only exist when people experience that their points of view have been fully understood by the other parties. Period. Once people can stop contradicting one another and listen, a fuller picture can emerge that makes conflict into a dilemma we share instead of positions we must win.
Identify Points of Alignment and Agreement: Reaching consensus is not about tackling the giant agreement first; often, it’s about creating small agreements that serve as a basis to build into the larger ones. Each phase of work, from initial assessment to final decision making, requires agreement before the team moves forward. If a big agreement cannot be reached, the group can fall back to the last agreement and problem-solve from there.
Don’t Let Things Go Underground: Leaders cannot afford to ignore underground forces. Secretive disagreements must be surfaced and worked through or they will likely derail implementation. Leaders need to adopt strict ground rules to minimize stealth deals and political maneuvering as decision-making tactics. And model the behavior of honest and open communication.
“Consensus isn’t about being wishy-washy,” according to McManus. “Leaders set direction, but how they marshal the forces and energy of key people and groups is the key determining factor in whether they’ll be successful in moving the organization in the direction they desire,” she added. Download the white paper here: http://bit.ly/8ZcCNt
About Interaction Associates
Interaction Associates (IA) has 40 years’ experience in helping companies find breakthrough solutions to business challenges. IA’s integrated management consulting and learning and development services have been used by Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and nonprofit organizations throughout the world. Interaction Associates helps these enterprises set strategic direction, inspire commitment, and build leadership capabilities, leveraging the power of collaborative action for long-term, sustainable results. Visit www.interactionassociates.com.
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