Interest Based Problem Solving is a method for resolving disputes where the parties involved focus on the underlying interests, as opposed to their initial positions or demands. This strategy is particularly effective in complex situations where traditional win-lose methods might not be adequate.

Here’s a bit more about the process:

  1. Identify the Problem: The first step involves clearly defining the problem that needs to be addressed. This needs to be a shared understanding among all parties involved.
  2. Understand Interests: The next step is to identify the interests of all parties. These are the underlying needs, desires, concerns, and fears that are at the heart of the problem.
  3. Generate Options: Once the interests have been identified, the parties generate a variety of possible solutions that could meet these interests. The goal here is to encourage creativity and avoid judgement or criticism.
  4. Evaluate Options: After a variety of options have been generated, they are evaluated based on how well they meet the identified interests. The most promising options are selected for further consideration.
  5. Develop a Solution: The final step involves developing a mutually agreeable solution based on the selected options. This solution should meet the interests of all parties involved to the greatest extent possible.

The focus on interests rather than positions allows for more creative solutions and promotes collaborative problem-solving, ultimately leading to solutions that are more satisfactory to all parties involved. Karl Perry uses IBPS in combination with the Evaporating Cloud method from the Theory of Constraints to facilitate effective resolution of interpersonal and systemic conflicts.