Good day and welcome to the blog of Felix Spender.
I have termed it “the thoughts of a foxhound” because this reflects the 30 odd years I served as a professional soldier in the British Army, where we were nicknamed “foxhounds”. I travelled with the Army on its journey from the Cold War, through policing in Northern Ireland to the interventionist periods in the Balkans and the Middle East. I know that the British Army is not without its faults, but it remains a force for good and one in which I am very proud to have served.
The deployments on operations gave me plenty of time to reflect on the nature of conflict. What is clear to me now is that change and conflict are our constant companions driving innovation and development which are essential to our future. It’s a paradox – good conflict provides creative tension while toxic conflict inflicts damage. Neither can be eliminated so both must be managed.
We all might dream of “teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony” but that would only lead to stagnation. We need to move forward, progress requires conflict but conflict must be kept in balance to avoid damage. Unfortunately, the humans have demonstrated over the centuries that they are stunningly inept at doing this.
I now run my own business North Light Solutions which is a conflict management consultancy that supports businesses and organisations deal with the uncertainty of change, crisis and conflict to enable them to be more competitive through innovation and increased productivity. It’s challenging work but it gives me great pleasure to see clients emerging from testing times in good shape.
Our approach combines critical analysis, lateral thinking and human understanding. We manage conflict through consensual rather than adversarial systems and ensure that disruptive or unproductive behaviour is changed through sound training. Bill Clinton may have said that “it’s all about the economy” but our belief is that it’s all about people.
This blog draws on my experience of change, conflict and crisis management, as well as other issues that I think are interesting or vexatious. These are my thoughts, views and opinions. I will try to keep it informative and entertaining while endeavouring to give a pragmatic layman’s perspective of both fundamental and peripheral matters.
I once thought it would be nice to share these ideas through a commercial outlet but now I am glad not to. I have freedom to speak my own words, project them to anywhere in the world and engage in dialogue with anyone who is interested. That to me is worth a lot more than the few quid from the commercial press.
I hope you find it interesting and I encourage you to contribute by commenting, replying, liking and doing all the other stuff that goes with blogs.