My last post leftÂ a question in my mind; does harmony negate innovation?
Innovation is aÂ new way of doing something. I believe you canâ€™t have innovation without havingÂ diversity. An interesting articleÂ by Margaret Wheatley describes how diversity plays an important role in drivingÂ innovation. Of course diversity can generate friction: different perspectives,Â ways of thinking and behaving which can be uncomfortable. For me, friction isÂ not contradictory to harmony.Â
Have you ever workedÂ with someone that is totally different from yourself? Thinks differently,Â speaks a different language, studied a different academic discipline? I haveÂ and in many instances I have found myself engaged with people completelyÂ different than myself in incredibly transformative dialogues. Thereâ€™s something that happens in the conversation where our seemingly opposing views andÂ structures of thinking interact to generate innovation: a new solution/approachÂ towards our common goal.
Harmony requiresÂ diversity. If you look at a musical score or an orchestra, it sometimes seemsÂ strange that all of those chords and instruments are together. In the sameÂ score, people can be singing in different pitches, starting and ending inÂ different places, some singing andante and others allegro. If you look at theÂ pieces separately you might not be able to piece them together; when you hearÂ them played together they produce something so beautiful; something you neverÂ thought it would be possible when you considered the pieces individually.Â
For me, theÂ conversations and moments I described have been one of incredible harmony.Â Where Iâ€™ve felt that Iâ€™ve just been in flow with the other person/people. AndÂ of course there have been moments of disagreement, frustration and discomfort.Â The real difference is those moments where everything just shifts andÂ suddenly the problem, which seemed so intractable, gets solved. It’s this harmony that has generated a new way of doing something; in other words, innovation.