Healthy working relationships are one of the greatest sources of fulfilment for individuals and key to organisational success, but are not always easy to achieve. And when things go wrong… what can we do? This workshop explored conflict in organisations, why organisations are such a fertile ground for it and how Organisational Development (OD) can help. Intended for those unfamiliar with OD practice or those from a diagnostic OD background, the aim of the session was to help participants understand how to use a complex systems perspective and a dialogical OD approach to reduce conflict in teams.
The workshop used the example of a hospital ward (with its different professions, differing levels of power, high stakes and seeming shared purpose) to explore how we can have conversations that help people work through conflict. We will start by considering, from the individual, organisational and societal perspectives, why it is complex to be a human being in an organisation, and the implications of this for the work of OD. The intention of the workshop was to be part informative and part immersive, with oodles of opportunity for refection about ‘so what?’. It was hoped, that by the end, participants would have a greater sense of what OD is and how it can be used in cases of conflict in the workplace.