Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Conflict Clouds

SKI on Conflict Clouds

This diagram from Purple Curve Effect

It frames a classic conflict. After years of effort perfecting the business plan for an eCommerce startup in the late 1990s, it came down to this conflict. Not really "good vs. evil"... it was more about what I personally wanted out of my life.

Serial Entrepreneurs are people too

I get bored easily. A two-edged sword. Pros and cons. Yet life goes on. In the late 1980s I recall another startup in computer consulting. I vividly recall adding the fifth employee. The fifth desk. File cabinet. Another Wyse terminal (we used SCO Xenix, having understood that Novell was not going to survive). But I digress...

I wanted a simpler business model. The Linux computer operating system had changed the business landscape in 1997. So I framed the issues facing me in this "conflict resolution diagram" in order to visually see the playing field. It is read as follows:

In order to enjoy my newest "Self employment" gig, I needed a "talented staff" of eCommerce experts, and I needed to be free of "staff hassles". Furthermore, If I needed a talented staff, it would require "great employees". However, in order to limit staff hassles, the best solution was to have "no employees" at all!

We see the conflict between two necessary conditions: Great employees vs. No employees. My gut reaction was to do it all myself. But that would have limited my throughput ("money in my pocket!")... so I had to break the constraint.

What if I could tap the network of eCommerce experts that had high end computer systems at home and enjoyed either self-employment themselves or were looking for additional income on the side? That was exactly my solution to the conflict.

Using sub-contractors, I launched a successful eCommerce business and we crafted some great world-class solutions. Some of them running for years with very little "care or feeding".

How do you tackle conflicts?

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