Grit before pearls

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

Ben Schott has a go at the paradoxical blandness of supposedly disruptive startups: Welcome to your bland new world. It’s easy to get stuck in blandness in organisations, appearing to agree on superficially exciting but actually rather boring ideals.

So much of the language of organisations falls into this world of cutting-edge-best-practice yadda yadda. And it doesn’t actually work that well – here’s a post I wrote a while back suggesting implementing all those well-benchmarked practices doesn’t yield exciting results.

Over the years, I’ve often fallen into polite collaboration. Projects where we’re saying all the right things about the joys of teamwork, and then nothing much happens. It’s easy to idealise teamwork and then ignore all the bits of mess that aren’t working.

The authors of The Power of Discord are onto something. They show that most of the time, good parents are not in harmony with their children. And this is great, if the child and the parent learn to do the repetitive work of getting back into harmony. It’s not staying in harmony, it’s learning that disharmony can be worked on.

So instead of hoping for the best, maybe we need to spend more time fessing up to where the friction is? Spend less time hoping for pearls and a little more looking at the potential of grit.

(Thanks to Nick Parker‘s great newsletter for spotting the blandness article)

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