Great email yesterday forms a longtime friend. She pointed out to me that my quest for inclusion really spans a lot more than communication. That to build a knowledge system that accepts and builds on the differences of people we need to consider not just being inclusive but driving to inclusion as de rigor. The points very crystalized and much clearer than the ones I’ve been trying to make.
It’s beyond an inter-generational thing. It’s about creating an environment where ideas are treasures. The Edison Scale© isn’t about mistakes. It’s about finding the path from where you are to where you want to be and not giving up. Embracing ideas as unifying tendrils of a fabric we are weaving.
Fabric is the key. A unifying fabric that covers everything. Why? Its inclusive. It covers everything. It doesn’t cover the left side or the right side. It covers all. Inclusion is all. As my friend (who is from another part of the world by the way) pointed out to me, when I was first introduced to Malaysian food I was nervous. Food is a great metaphor for inclusion.
There is a great travel channel show (Andrew Zimmern) and is Bizarre Foods. In the show he wanders the world trying foods regardless of what they are made of (with one exception, a southeast Asian fruit known as Durian.) On the show he talks about considering the ways things used to be. He brings people onto the show that are looking backward and looking forward. The concept that he propounds is that of if it looks good eat it.
That is the attitude of inclusion. All ideas are good. Some are not good for the moment and we really need to build out that corporate parking lot system. A system that makes it ok to have your idea put into the parking lot. Parking lot doesn’t mean your idea is cut from the herd and set adrift for seven days in an open boat in search of the sun. It just means it will be talked about later.
Inclusion is such an easy word. It is such a hard thing to consider. It is about considering the golden rule of communication in particular the concept of our conversation. Our conversation is inclusive. No matter who the our is, it is our communication. What we bring and what we take away from that communication forms the basis of our next conversation. Ideas that are trapped on a post it notes (old fashioned parking lot) and left in a binder that no one ever opens again are lost. They are lost conversations.
By the way, arguments are good things. Managed arguments where no personal attacks no burning one person and their ideas to the ground or flames are allowed are a good thing. Argument are passion and passion connects to the part of your brain that is creative. Quiet conversations are good. We need a knowledge capture system that can respond to the energy of the conversation and the information being shared. Imagine a capture system that captured and converted the text of an argument into something reusable. Not just gathering the main points and regurgitating them. But gathering the side ideas, the parking lot concepts that were trapped in that argument and lost. Capturing quiet conversations as well converting them into ideas and concepts.
It is about production. Both of ideas and of systems that support ideas.
There are no failures, no bad ideas. There are just ideas that don’t fit the correct problem effectively. They do fit another problem and our parking lot meetings will help us surface that idea later. Perhaps we should consider every idea a gold nugget. Not gold that we can readily run to the bank and cash but a gold nugget buried under something else. We have to buff and polish some ideas to get to the gold. Others are gold now. Still others need to be combined with other nuggets and then as alchemists we have created gold. Parking lots become goal production systems!