Have you ever used or done something based on intuition, experience or what you think is just common sense, and then found out that someone had given that something a name, studied it, tested it, researched it - and you never knew until you were lucky and happened on an article about it or heard someone talking about it?
When we facilitated negotiations, established and led cross-functional project teams, designed and led workshops on strategy, scenario planning, innovation and alliances, we always thought about the different current beliefs, values and attitudes of each individual in the room, in the teams, at the table and in the organization - and perhaps most importantly, as designers and facilitators we had to consider our own as well.
We knew we had to consider in our design and facilitation how those different beliefs, values and attitudes could be “suspended” or put aside in ways that enabled the negotiation to be successful, the team to function effectively and efficiently, an alliance created and launched adding value for all parties, or workshop participants ending the day(s) with work they could all accept and implement.
We didn’t have a name for it, but we knew we had to deal with it or all bets were off, especially when dealing with negotiations, scenario planning and strategic alliances!
And as I talked with my friend and collaborator Steve Barth over the past year, I realized there has to be deep implications here for Organizational Design.
Well, I have an email subscription to TED’s Edge Conversations and on August 22, 2014 I received a link to an Edge Conversation with Mathew D. Lieberman entitled “Latitudes of Acceptance” - and I finally had an understanding of the basis and name for the problem.