People thinking and talking about conflict often address the idea of the dynamics of a group that is in internal conflict. How these people have interacted in the past and their assumed roles within the group — whether a family, a business, or some other type of group — both have a profound impact on the conflict, and if and how it will be resolved.
Less attention is paid to the concept of conflict’s own dynamic nature. As circumstances change, within or outside of the group, by design or by accident, the conflict itself will change.
More than once, someone who serves as a trusted advisor to some or all of a group in conflict has told me that it is “too late” for mediation. I’m not sure it is ever too late to mediate a conflict; I am sure that sometimes it’s too early.