Monday, December 30, 2013

Difference is a breeding ground for opportunity

I wonder what you really think when a work or social situation puts you into a connection with someone who is quite different than you in some way. Even if they are different in a way you admire, it might be hard for you to relate. You might find that you are quickly bored or tongue tied or simply unable to get any traction with a conversation.

If you can only connect with people who are already like you, how will you ever have the different ideas needed to produce something better than what you already have?

It takes work and practice to connect with the expectation that difference often leads to opportunity. You need to put yourself in a position to interact with different people and expect opportunity to arise from difference over and over again, tweaking your ability to connect until you reliably generate opportunity from difference.

How do I know this works? It is one of the things I train people to do. I attract different kinds of people to the same courses and put them in interaction in controlled exercises until they begin to notice that difference can generate something more than awkwardness. It can generate new thinking that leads to new possibilities.

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