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Embrace Diverse Thinking – The Key To Innovation And Resilience

Written by: Ginger Carlson, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Ginger Carlson

This article addresses the transformative impact of embracing diverse perspectives for sparking innovation and solving complex problems. It highlights how flexibility in thought and openness to differing viewpoints can lead to deeper understanding, creative solutions, and more inclusive decision-making. By valuing a variety of perspectives, the piece illustrates, we can foster personal growth, social cohesion, and a more dynamic, resilient society.


Life quote

Sometimes we need reminders. Here’s one that once came to me from a college professor that has forever impacted how I think about diversity and cross-pollination of ideas: 

 

“We need a rule that helps us break old rules; we get much better brainstorming, much more creative outcomes when everyone plays by that rule.”

 

Here’s the rule: be flexible enough in how we interact with ideas so we can build a different enough perspective to see alternate possibilities: for our lives, for our challenges, for our families, for our organizations, and the future.

 

Like many things, that kind of flexibility can be easier said than done, especially when we ‘know what they know’ or get caught in the trap of polarized thinking. Here’s what we do know: flexible thinking and the ability to see hidden patterns and alternatives is a key aspect of Innovation. Research tells us we are better at thinking creatively when we have multiple, often even directly contrasting ideas and perspectives around us. When we honor those perspectives, we can get more from both ourselves and our organizations.

 

Here are several benefits to honoring multiple perspectives, and simple things you can do today to get started:

  1. Builds empathy and understanding: By considering diverse viewpoints, we can deepen our understanding of each other and complex issues. Organize discussions where people with an alternative point of view can share their perspectives on a topic. This encourages learning from different perspectives and helps you practice listening to another way of thinking about it. When you do so, you are better prepared to navigate complexities.

  2. Equips us to be more innovative: Different perspectives can contribute to more innovative solutions to problems, as they bring together a range of ideas and experiences. When brainstorming, include people with not just various professional and personal backgrounds, but also cognitive diversity (different ways of thinking on the subject), to generate unique ideas.

  3. Strengthens Social Connection: Initiate community projects that involve collaboration among different groups or across departments, fostering mutual respect and understanding. Recognizing and respecting different viewpoints can promote healthy engagement with different ways of thinking, reduce conflicts, and build stronger communities.

  4. Encourages individual growth: Actively seek out books, podcasts, or talks that challenge your current worldview or present a completely different perspective. Engaging with diverse perspectives can challenge our own beliefs and assumptions, leading to personal development and greater empathy.

  5. Raises collective intelligence: When making decisions in a group setting, ensure all members, regardless of their rank or background, have an opportunity to voice their opinions. Decisions based on a wide range of views are often more robust and inclusive, considering the needs and opinions of a broader spectrum of society. Doing so quite literally increases the collective intelligence in the room.

 

By valuing a variety of perspectives, and embracing a “multarity" mindset, we can become more inclusive, dynamic, and resilient.


Need a little immediate inspiration?


Ginger Carlson Brainz Magazine
 

Ginger Carlson, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Ginger Carlson is an international keynote and TEDx speaker, leader, and award-winning author. She has presented and written widely on the topics of creativity, communication, growth, and transformation, and how to uniquely and positively nurture each of them in our personal lives and organizations. Dr. Carlson is the co-founder of Möbius Dynamics and CEO of The Multarity Project™. She can be contacted through her websites https://www.gingercarlson.com/ and https://www.multarityproject.com/ 


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