In Sherlock Homes “A Game of Shadows”, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson join forces to defeat their maniacal nemesis Professor Moriarty. Audiences are not only captivated by the thrilling plot of the movie but also the comical exchanges between the two main characters.
In the movie, Sherlock must come to grips with Dr. Watson’s decision to marry and continue with a normal life. Without Dr. Watson to balance him, Sherlock seems to spiral into a crazed theory of conspiracy that consumes every waking minute of his day.
Sherlock is known for his extreme intelligence, attention to detail, and eccentric shenanigans. He can be impulsive but with some help, seems to find the winning strategy. Most of his success is because of Dr. Watson’s more logical thinking and analytical approach to problem solving. The two make a formidable force for any enemy, but separated, their effectiveness diminishes.
The action-packed thriller keeps audiences on the edge of their seat but the real attraction is the sometimes contentious relationship between Holmes and Watson. The two can be best described as extreme opposites which breeds a comical yet effective form of conflict. Holmes’ shortfalls in logic is antagonized but complimented by Watson’s more pragmatic approach. The result of their conflicts is not only humorous bantering between the two but also a plan destined to succeed.
The term Conflict often has negative connotations, but any effective leader will tell you that Conflict is essential to innovation and growth. If you are looking to innovate and bring new ideas to the table, conflict is almost invariably going to be a part of that process. Business goals are most easily achieved with a harmonious team, yet innovation and creation depend on conflict.
Some leaders spend the majority of their day avoiding or diffusing conflict on their teams. Contrary to common thought, disagreement is often a sign of teams that are engaged in making the company become more competitive. A “disagreement free” workplace can indicate employees are afraid to share their ideas which will lead to mediocrity within the organization. The ability for a team to have an open but respectful conflict to achieve a set goal indicates true leadership.
Organizations like Google and Facebook thrive on healthy conflict. Leaders encourage conflict and empower their teams to use their unique skills and views to search for the best solution to a problem. This produces ideas that can lead to brilliant results in new products, more efficient processes, and improved collaboration within the organization. Eliminating conflict can create a more peaceful workplace, but ultimately, this may harm the company’s growth.
When approached positively, workplace conflicts can actually spur innovation and teamwork. While conflicts are usually perceived negatively, healthy amounts of workplace conflict can actually be beneficial for the development of the organization. Effective teams harness the constructive resolution of workplace conflicts to drive innovation.
The complexity of today’s business world requires organizations to be agile and creative. Be the leader that empowers your team to tackle those complexities with a little dose of healthy conflict. Create a list of boundaries to help facilitate the discussion to keep the focus on productive disagreement. Conflict over ideas or processes are ok but leaders should be work to ensure it does not become an attack on members of the team.
Conflict can bring the best your team. If properly managed, a little conflict can help you turn the biggest problems into your best opportunities.