Hire People Who Disagree With You to Find Innovative Solutions

Your company needs these four personalities to create more creative solutions through constructive conflict.

There are many ideas and misconceptions about how innovation happens. “One of the deadliest barriers to innovation,” explains BigSpeak EVP Ken Sterling in his most recent Inc. article, “is the notion that conflict should be prevented.”

While leaders often seek to eliminate conflict and cultivate collaboration, constructive conflict through diverse perspectives is necessary for sustained creativity.

In their new book, The Innovation Code, Jeff DeGraff list four steps to create constructive conflict in an organization. After studying innovation for years in Fortune 500 companies, they believe the best way to create this constructive conflict is to gather a diversity of worldviews and use them to create innovative solutions through these four categories:

Perspective diversity

According to the authors, we all have a dominant world view: Artist, Engineer, Athlete, and Sage. In order to innovate, all four dominant worldviews need to be represented.

The Innovation Code provides more in-depth descriptions of the four worldviews as well as a test to discover which one is your dominant creative type.

Engage in constructive conflict

Creating meaningful conflict by allowing the Artists to engage with the Engineers and the Sages with the Athletes. Constructive conflict is not about disagreement but understanding multiple points of view and finding a hybrid solution.

Establish a shared goal

While the Artist, the Engineer, the Athlete, and the Sage may solve a problem through vastly different methods, they all need to know which problem they are trying to solve. To verify, “each member of the team should describe the problem (i.e., their idea of the current vision/goal) at each stage of planning and execution.”

Create hybrid solutions

The end result of your constructive conflict should be a hybrid solution. Combine solutions from multiple worldviews. The key to creating hybrid solutions is taking two great, but very different ideas, and figuring out the best way to fit them together.