Conflict Resolution and Coaching: E-business start up -- When Culture Gets in the Way of Results

Note: Key identity descriptors have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Helped an e-business start-up team to get unstuck and deliver their application on time and within budget by resolving “undiscussable” conflicts between “old guard” IS team members and “young turk” e-business developers. The “young turks” had little reverence for established IS methodologies. The “old guard” resisted the “young turks’” innovations because of potential conflicts with existing IS infrastructure.  Each faction felt suspicious about the other’s motives. My client, the project manager, had been wearing himself out trying to resolve differences behind the scenes. 

Completed in-depth 360-interviews to identify the team’s common aspirations, goals, and breakdowns.  In a conflict resolution and project planning retreat, the team worked through their differences and contracted about how they’d work together to create the innovative product to which they all aspired. Followed up with in-depth leadership coaching of my client (the IS Manager) about how to stop rescuing and get the team to take ownership.

The client and team said that these interventions enabled the team to get past impasses and develop strong relationships.  They said they would never have completed their application on time and within budget if they had remained stuck in their “undiscussables.”

Copyright © 2001 Toni R. Hupp