Managing Operational Conflicts under Uncertainty


Biswajit Chanda, Change Management and Mining Project Development

Managing a mining enterprise is getting more complex. Ensuring profitability in a commodity business by itself is a challenging task. In addition, CEOs are also stretched to meet the expectations of demanding stakeholders. Managing these diverse relationships is a balancing act that requires much attention. Pre-occupied with other pressing problems, CEOs mostly overlook festering conflicts in their own midst. Everybody is aware of the existence of silos and disharmonious relationships between various functions. These barriers lead to wasteful activities and loss of opportunities that are never quantified. The traditional walls between geology, mining and processing stem from the stochastic nature of the ore in the ground. Day to day problems are apparent to all, but they are never satisfactorily resolved. Based on his Edumine course, the author proposes to establish formal internal supplier – customer relationships to channel the collective drive of the organization to focus on recognizing the uncertainties instead of always being on the defensive. Open communications enable energies to be devoted towards solving problems created due to the non-homogeneity of the ore. By instituting continuous improvement process to facilitate co-operation, mining companies can unlock hidden sources of savings that had so far eluded them.
Mots Clés: managing conflicts, stochastic nature of the ore, operating silos, continuous improvement, operational improvement, leadership role, internal customer supplier relationships, open communications