ABIDE model, an exercise: Diversity/Dissent



An excerpt from Joseph Pelrine training material about Diversity/Dissent:  Diversity can be interpreted in many ways. The more diverse a team is the higher the potential for conflict is. On the other side too much uniformity can lead to a dogmatic and “religious” like system where dissent is not tolerated any more.


Another excerpt from Joseph Pelrine training material about Diversity/Dissent as prerequisite to self-organisation:  Group diversity is also essential. Homogeneous groups don't self-organize; they actually get dumber, since they inbreed to enforce the dominant narrative of the social context in which they find themselves.

As far as I understand Diversity/Dissent can be a person, an idea, can be in technology, requirements or in the domain.
A way to look at Diversity/Dissent that I see: Diversity of gene pool in individuals of a species gives the species a higher chance of surviving an adverse change in conditions. A loss in genetic diversity can increase the chances of extinction of a species. Without diversity a single weakness in a genetic traits or a single threat (i.e. a virus) can affect the whole species at once and cause the extinction. Diversity as well as redundancy increase resilience.


And as far as I understand in a system is possible to increase diversity/dissent, it can be achieved adding someone to the team with a different experience/background/specialization, or increasing tolerance to conflict (i.e. grow sense of confidence, awareness of the identity and the sense of psychological safety in the team/organization) and accepting and encouraging debate disagreement  or with practices as "ritual dissent". 
In a system is possible to reduce diversity/dissent, in example in a conflict a facilitator can help to clear the misunderstanding of needs/interests that are wrongly perceived as conflicting while instead are compatible or complementary, perceived scarcity of resources and pressure and overtime and stress can be reduced to reduce the tendency to conflict, a buffer can be added between people with higher diversity/dissent. Increasing redundancy of similar elements can reduce/mitigate the impact of the different  ones. The impact of diversity/dissent can also be diluted over time.
The goal is to keep diversity/dissent at the level which the team can make good use of it (i.e. deal with changing conditions, challenge preconceived ideas and innovate, assimilate opponents).

See also When diversity, dissent and responsibility lack.

Here follows the list of patterns (from the Fearless Change book of Linda Rising) as I've classified them as Diversity/Dissent doing the exercise, do you agree, do you have comments, would you classify them differently ?





Time to time was not easy to me to choose between diversity/dissent and a barrier or environment or an attractor. I.e. a barrier can be moved to include or exclude an attractor; also a diversity/dissent can  be an attractor or can have effects on the environment. So what to chose in that case?   Anyway I tried to choose the principal factor.





Bridge-Builder
Pair those who have accepted the new idea with those who have not.
Some won’t listen to even the most ethusiastic proponent if it’s someone they don’t know or trust.
Ask for help from Early Adopters, Connectors, or gurus who have already adopted the innovation. Introduce them to people who have interests similar to theirs and encourage them to discuss how they found the innovation useful.
The system is the team/organization where the new idea is proposed. The diversity/dissent here is reduced by the pairing people that know/trust each other or that have common interests. And is reduced by open discussions.
 



Champion Skeptic
Ask for Help from strong opinion leaders, who are skeptical of your new idea, to play the role of “official skeptic.” Use their comments to improve your effort, even if you don’t change their minds.
Some of the resistors to the new idea are strong opinion leaders in your organization.
Ask for help from a skeptical opinion leader to play the role of “official skeptic” or “official realist.”
The system is the team/organization where the new idea is proposed. The diversity/dissent here is the resistance from strong opinion leaders that can be used to proof and improve the new idea.  


 

Fear Less
Turn resistance to the new idea to your advantage.
Any innovation is disruptive, so resistance is likely.
Ask for help from resistors.
The system is the team/organization where the new idea is proposed. The diversity/dissent here is reduced by involving the resistors in the change.





The Right Time
Consider the timing when you schedule events or when you ask others for help.
When people face deadlines and have too much to do, they tend to focus on things that move them toward completing necessary tasks and making the deadlines.
Be aware of those times when people are likely to be the busiest. Schedule events and requests for help outside those times.
The system is the team where the new idea is proposed. The diversity between  the timing where evens are scheduled and the deadline is increased here.





Step by Step
Relieve your frustration at the enormous task of changing an organization by taking one small step at a time toward your goal.
You wonder what your plan should be for introducing the new idea into your organization.
Use an incremental approach in the change initiative, with short-term goals, while keeping your long-term vision.
The system is the team where the new idea is proposed. The diversity/dissent here is diluted over time.





Test the Waters
When a new opportunity presents itself, see if there is any interest by using some of the patterns in this language and then evaluating the result.
When you learn about something new, you wonder if the organization is ready for it.
Choose a pattern or two from this collection, use them, and then evaluate the result.
The system is the organization where the new idea could be proposed. The diversity/dissent is tested to check if the organization is ready to deal with the diversity caused by the new idea.





Trial Run 
When the organization is not willing to commit to the new idea, suggest that they experiment with it for a short period and study the results.
There are people in the organization who are expressing an endless supply of objections to the new idea. It would be a daunting, or even impossible, task to try to ease everyone’s worries before the new idea is adopted.
Suggest that the organization, or a segment of the organization, try the new idea for a limited period as an experiment.
The system is the team where the new idea is proposed.The diversity/dissent here is diluted with an experiment.





Just Do It 
To prepare to spread the word about the new idea, use it in your own work to discover its benefits and limitations.
You don’t have any experience with the innovation yourself, just good ideas that might work. You believe that the innovation can help the organization but you’re not sure.
Gather first-hand information on the benefits and limitations of the innovation by integrating it into your current work. 
The system is the team where the new idea is proposed. The diversity/dissent here is reduced by gaining expertise and introduce the new idea in a way that solve problems instead of creating new problems.

 


 
Time For Reflection
To learn from the past, take time at regular intervals to evaluate what is working well and what should be done differently.
We make the same assumptions and the same mistakes based on those assumptions over and over again.
Pause in any activity to reflect on what is working well and what should be done differently. 
The system is the team. The diversity/dissent is encouraged throw reflection to search for beneficial changes.






See all the other parts of this exercise:  ABIDE model, an exercise  




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Print | posted @ Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:39 PM

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