Innovation and Listening

The key to progress is innovation.  In President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he made it clear that we will need to make different choices to grow. Innovation was the order of the evening. In order to innovate, we need to entertain all voices to know what will be the best ideas for growth.  To have new choices that create the change necessary for growth in any situation, we need to develop the art of dialogue. Dialogue is not debate – making one side right and one side wrong – that would exclude a voice or idea.  It is not discussion – when one person is expressing themselves and the other one is evaluating other ideas based on the validity of their own idea.  Dialogue requires listening  to another’s ideas, giving it value and suspending for the moment all thoughts except the focus on the words being presented. One does not have to let go of their side, but is imperative that one puts it completely aside while listening to another’s word.

There is no way to fully comprehend another’s word if you are listening to how it overlays on your own.  This is the beginning of true listening and understanding.  Only then can you start to see the whole of what may be happening and what possibilities may be emerging. Of course, we know the problems of the United States and of the world are not simple, but to understand the complex living systems, we must commit to the art of dialogue and listening.

Check out this amazing You Tube video that illustrates where good ideas come from.

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