The challenge is to connect things that have never before been joined with an innovative structure that allows an equitable flow in both directions. Both sides have to find some common ground even though they face significant obstacles. While there may be a natural inclination to see the challenge from one vantagepoint, dialogue opens new pathways for consideration.
Some dialogues can devolve into free-for-alls. That’s okay if the purpose is simply brainstorming. Eventually, the exchange needs some shepherding. Can we agree on the definition of the problem? What has been done in the past to solve it? Does our team culture permit safe exploration? Are we open to trying something different? Once we figure out a path, are we committed to taking it? Are we willing to accept all of the consequences arising from bridging the span between us?
|Problem identification||An impasse or an obstacle creates a need for which there is not yet a clear solution.|
|Research||Investigation unfolds to determine current best practice or the need for a different approach.|
|Discovery||Exploration and experimentation inevitably lead to new opportunities.|
|Invention||Fresh ideas are proposed for testing and implementation.|
|Innovation||Theory finds application, and insights become action.|
|Improvement||A seemingly unsolvable problem is addressed resulting in a better mousetrap, a cure for cancer, drastic enhancements in efficiency or a meeting of the minds.|
Dialogue is the best fuel for innovation. Growth and change are empowered by connecting our brains, aspirations, perspectives and priorities with others. We don’t have to see things the same way. We just need to be willing to build a bridge from one side to the other and allow travel in both directions.