If a new teammate said, “I hope we don’t get along,” how would you react? Would you chalk it up to a verbal slip? Would you be offended? Would you control the urge to give them a good smack?
Sure, it’s going to rub you the wrong way. But in their defense, conflict does help us grow, innovate and solve the problem. It’s what Margaret Heffernan want us to understand in this week’s Best Event Talk.
Heffernan has been studying businesses and organizations both as an author and as an executive within the ranks. She’s discovered that most companies shy away from disagreements. A study even backs her up, showing that 85% of executives say they are afraid to raise issues at work.
Of course, getting along has its merits. It means cooperation which in turn results in higher productivity and nice fat profits. But it also means filling offices with “yes men” who are content with doing “business as usual” even when times call for doing the unusual.
As a previous speaker shared, change is accelerating and companies need to change as fast as change itself. Being complacent is no longer acceptable. Conflict is needed to keep pace with change because only through conflict can a company foster new ideas and innovative solutions.
The main reason, why we should embrace conflict, is because it makes us think and think often. This leads to new ideas, openness to innovation and looking at other solutions that we didn’t consider before. Conflict means growth when times are changing. When facing our peers, we should “agree to disagree” less and “respectfully disagree” more.
Of course, this conflict needs to be focused and managed well, lest we fall into chaos instead of innovation. Do you want to learn more about creating innovative conflict within your company, to breakthrough problems with new ideas? Watch Heffernan’s talk below to find out how.[ted id=1533]