Light Your Fire

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When I moved from Oahu to the Big Island, I found the landscape to be stark. With time, as I walked the lava fields with our three feral cats that had adopted us, I noticed the elements of growth around me. It came from unexpected sources and flourished in amazing places. This seems a perfect metaphor for what happens with growth at work. We get focused on where growth isn’t and miss the places where it can flourish with a bit of effort.

The trifecta of healthy debate, collaboration, and innovation represents a powerful combination for growth and progress in an organization. When individuals engage in respectful debates, exchange diverse perspectives, collaborate effectively and harness innovative thinking, they can collectively generate creative solutions, drive advancements and achieve meaningful outcomes.

How does this work? Healthy debate encourages an exchange of ideas supported by active listening, being open-minded, analyzing ideas, and willingness to adjust one’s opinion. Collaboration brings teams together, stimulating communication, enhancing coordination, and providing teamwork accountability. Finally, innovation creates and applies new ideas, processes, products, and/or services that support progress and growth.

We will be diving deeper into these subjects over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, look closer at what is happening around you:

  • Are you engaging in conversations which stretch your thinking?
  • Do you naturally form teams to collaborate on things which matter to the organization?
  • Are you in an environment that encourages experimentation?

Growth will not happen in a vacuum. Be intentional about your end goals, and then be willing to bring healthy debate, collaboration and innovation into the fold. What was once a stark lava field will begin to bloom in unimaginable ways.

This week: Take some time to think about what you want to achieve. Consider who you might invite to team with you. Spend time together aligning on the type of growth you want. Start your engines and practice healthy debate, collaboration and innovation. Don’t forget that failure is one learning part of the process. Let your fires burn bright.

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