Conflict As A Catalyst For Corporate Success

To most organizations, conflict is a scary word. It conjures up visions of disgruntled employees, frazzled leaders, and minimal progress. But conflict can help—rather than hurt—an organization, writes Dr. Jason Wingard, Dean of Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.

“In both my corporate and nonprofit leadership roles, I have witnessed how conflict has incubated organizational reflection and served as a catalyst for positive change,” writes Dean Wingard. “Well-managed conflict can, in fact, spur innovative company cultures, streamline organizational processes, and sculpt effective leaders.”

Dean Wingard offers examples from famed leaders who found their best ideas amid conflict and disagreement, including auto designer Jerry Hirshberg; cofounder and former chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, David Novak; and Walt and Roy Disney.

“Conflict is a natural part of our world—and, I would argue, of progress itself,” concludes Dean Wingard. “Leaders must strive to embrace, and even nurture, conflict as a fundamental part of an organization’s growth. Doing so will enable them to drive innovation, save work hours and capital, and propel themselves into the best leaders they can be.”

Real the full article at Forbes and learn more about the School of Professional Studies at Columbia University.