July 29, 2021

A-Cast Episode 24: Solving Complex Conflicts ft. Dr. Mark Szabo

Solving Complex Conflicts ft. Dr. Mark Szabo


Discover the unexpected tools executives should use to solve complex conflicts on projects like stakeholder management for an oil and gas pipeline.

Background on Dr. Mark Szabo

Dr. Mark Szabo joins our host Marc Binkley to discuss his book and research on executive decision making in complex conflicts.Mark is VP Research & engagement at Anstice, a bespoke marketing agency based in Calgary, Alberta. Mark got his PhD in executive decision making while researching solutions for stakeholder management in oil and gas pipeline projects. Following his research, Mark published his solutions in a book titled Fight Different – the power of focal thinking in systemic conflicts. Mark is also a lawyer and has earned an MBA.


1:44 - Introducing Dr. Mark Szabo2:45 - How Mark got a Phd in executive decision making for complex conflicts5:14 - What is the difference between complex and complicated conflicts8:50 - Why simplifying complexity is the naturally wrong response12:02 - Why it matters to know the difference between complex conflicts and negotiations14:28 - An example of complex conflicts: Costal Gas Link pipeline17:05 - Why its important to focus thinking on people with power rather than people with influence20:26 - Why organizations need different soft skills to manage complex conflicts22:27 - Tools for complex conflicts: don't control the situation23:39 - Tools for complex conflicts: control your openness to change26:13 - Tools for complex conflicts: map the human landscape28:42 - Tools for complex conflicts: identify the moments that matter31:33 - Tools for complex conflicts: add research34:00 - Tools for complex conflicts: align people by values34:44 - Tools for complex conflicts: separating power from influence37:25 - Tools for complex conflicts: scenario planning and probabilities40:08 - Tools for complex conflicts: vision and patience45:22 - What you can do to better manage complex conflicts today49:24 - Find out more about Mark

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