Much of the progress has come about through the generous work of the conflict resolution network. The network links more than 100 people across some 40 Victorian public sector organisations, many of whom are working on local change projects.

This guide captures some of their innovations to help organisations respond to, and reduce, internal conflict. Its purpose is to act as a handbook or reference manual for those people and teams who have been authorised by their senior managers to undertake work in the area.

The Victorian Public Sector Commission companion document Developing Conflict Resilient Workplaces: A Report for Victorian Sector Leaders sets out the rationale for both the project and this guide. It provides the business case for changing the way that conflict is managed in the workplace. It also seeks the consideration of Victorian public sector leaders to help build workplaces where relationships are stronger through a practical commitment to improving open communication.

The guide describes the features of a conflict resilient workplace – one where conflict is managed well, and not allowed to escalate. It supports you to create a more positive workplace by suggesting how to build commitment to change, review current practice, identify areas for improvement, present options for change and evaluate success.

Much of the guide is diagnostic: it encourages you to ask questions about your organisation’s systems, values and behaviours to identify the most important issues to work on. As well, it gives practical tips for writing business cases and presenting options to senior management.