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Informing the peace makers

By Dave Snowden  ·  September 3, 2014  ·  Narrative

One of the principles of managing a complex adaptive system is the need for fast feedback loops.  In my second posting on narrative and conflict management I want to address that in the context of negotiation.   Now while my mind is on national level conflict, the same principles apply to service negotiation at a company level without the nature of major changes in the process.

During negotiations it is easy for people from both sides to get into entrained positions or loose connection with those they represent.   This can be negative in two ways: (i) solutions may be dismissed as unacceptable when the opposite is the case or (ii) a too readily agreed compromise may fall foul of popular acceptance.  So what we want is to give then continuous feedback of how the people back home are thinking about the problem both in terms of internal and external communication.

In this use of SenseMaker® statistical valid samples of both populations would be engaged to reflect daily on their situation and reports of the negotiations.  Each reflection (which could be linked to a web site or similar if appropriate) would be
 interpreted at the time and would then allow immediate real time
feedback to negotiators    They would be able to see the broad
 pattern of response and then interrogate it to understand the ideation patterns that will determine response.   

The fact that both sides would have this facility allows it to be used for advocacy within the negotiation and as an evidence base for assertions that might otherwise be contested.