What is it that we do not talk about?

We do a lot of emailing. Too much maybe. We also talk, hopefully a lot and face to face. After all being human is about having a body and it is nice to be together, just to talk. When we talk with people we like and respect, we create “nice” constructions. It feels good to agree and feel on the same page. That is the positive part. Yet, these constructions based on agreement tend to narrow the scope of reality. There is nothing wrong per se with agreeing, but not agreeing opens up to many exciting possibilities.

The challenge of not agreeing

When we do not agree, we can go follow two different roads. One immediately calls for the arsenal of fears linked to being right. If I do not agree, it means that one of us is wrong, preferably not me. That choice is entrenched deep in our western education, where being right is one of the main expressions of power and success. This binary approach that has worked well ever since the Greeks “invented” logic and rhetoric. Except that we are now in a complex world and binary stuff does not perform that well any more.

The power of difference

Those who managed to not get stuck in this fear based, power seeking stance get to follow a much more interesting and fruitful path: co-creation. It opens up to a whole array of new possibilities such as identifying differences. Sharing our differences enriches us. By opening up, we volunteer our differences, we make the gift of seeing things differently and we access new vantage points. It is not any more about who is the most right, but about how vast the realm of possibilities can becomes.

Complexity, emergence and opportunities

It is now an absolute necessity to grasp complexity. These last two words “grasp” and “complexity” live well together, except for those who got stuck in the realm of the past where things are either linear or complicated.
When we move in this paradigm, we become more comfortable with disagreement. In a complex world, agreement is not necessary because it is reductive. Agreement is good for binary stuff. In complexity, solutions come through emergence which needs to be discerned and observed. When complexity is not upheld, emergence will still happen. People then call it “problems”.

Agreement vs. alignment

Agreement becomes a thing of the past. It is replaced by alignment which does not subtract realities, but enriches them to create a fertile ground for emergence. Many organizations are still in the sorry state of trying to reach impossible agreements that never please anyone nor provide a definitive solution. This is costly on many levels and slows things down.  It is a signal the disconnect between the worldview of these organizations and the realities of the present days. One the one hand we have organizations throwing their last strengths in pointless battles, while on the other come the opportunities of diversity and co-creation.

Au sujet de l'auteur

Stephane Baillie Gee

Stephane Baillie-Gee is a senior consultant. He works on advanced management and leadership in the scope of organizations of the future. He also helps bridging the communication gap between Western and Chinese cultures and organizations.

Leave a Reply