Posts Tagged ‘compromise’

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DON’T COMPROMISE; BUILD CONSENSUS

November 30, 2010

Today’s the big test – the Republicans have dinner at the White House.  Let it not become a second “Day of Infamy” in our country’s history, but instead, a baby step forward into the 21st century and a new world of innovation, interaction, and collaboration.

I fear it won’t, however, as politics continues to trump service to the people on both sides. And worse,  to stir the pot in this crisis, we have the press – ever-ready as the judges-unfortunately using “history” and 20th century expertise to support their antiquated evaluation process.  And while they pontificate, they do not seem to recognize they have sacrificed their historical contribution and have become puppets and angry voices of the divisive culture in which we all find ourselves.

Stephen Wilbers furnished some great food for thought yesterday in his Strib column entitled “Conflict Resolution Doesn’t Have to Mean Compromise”. For the details, check it out online if you missed it, but the last paragraph sums it up and harkens back to a leadership theory I learned and tried to practice way back in the mid 1970s:

WIN-WIN Solutions…maybe we should forget about compromise, which suggests letting go of values, and concentrate on consensus, which suggests holding on to shared beliefs.

As I read that, I couldn’t help but muse about appropriate applications in my professional life as well.  I often feel our own industry, not just the politics of the country, is at a crossroads that one could view as a potential rift.

If you routinely follow this blog, you know I have moved from tentatively experimenting with collaboration in the development of experiential events to sometimes questioning whether I’ve crossed the line and become a zealot – shutting out all value of other viewpoints.

So this article was a good reminder for me and for others who become self-righteous in the protection of our own values- it is not about who is right, worked harder, or who has a greater following supporting one’s modus operandi – it is about exploring together where we share commonalities so we all emerge better for it as we strive to deliver value to our audience.

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A TIMELY AMERICAN HISTORY LESSON

April 3, 2010

How reassuring to open the Star Tribune this morning and learn that I am not the only one that has been listening with disbelief to the Tea Partiers and their claims of returning to our roots by modeling their thoughts and actions after the American Patriots of the 1700s. I was beginning to think that somehow, my life-long interest in history was failing me.

But fortunately I was exonerated today by a professor of American History at Northwestern University who very succinctly offered up a challenge to those protesters who- by their very words and actions- display they know little about the motivation or action of those first citizens of our country.

In an article reprinted from the Washington Post, T. H. Breen quickly outlined four motivating elements for the original patriots including:

The American patriots of 1773 and 1774 worked hard to promote unity…rather than trumpet narrow regional, ideological or class interests, ordinary patriots insisted on promoting a general American cause. They understood that it was only by working together that they could hold their own against the empire.”

The colonists did not protest taxation. To be clear: They protested against taxation without representation, an entirely different matter.”

Resistance to Britain, however, demanded serious sacrifice…Giving up something desired declared intentions and forged solidarity far more meaningfully than angry rhetoric.”

Americans who supported resistance understood that revolution could destabilize the entire social order…So Americans ceded to the Continental Congress leadership in creating a national infrastructure of revolution…This elaborate structure-a framework for a creative conversation between national and local goals – helped sustain a rule of law.”

Breen concluded we owe a great debt to those early patriots, as without them, there would be no United States. The minimum payment is to know their history.

Much as I would like to believe this article will resonate with members of the current Tea Party movement, I really know it hasn’t a chance. But perhaps it will supply support to any of you out there, like me, that are very concerned about the methods they have chosen to present their views.

Or perhaps, it will remind us of guiding principles we can apply over and over in our daily lives…cooperation and working together; representation of varying points of views; use compromise over angry rhetoric; encourage creative conversations within a rule of law. What innovative thinking!