If everyone agreed, what would be the point of teamwork? Idea exchange is messy, loud and conflicting and that is how it should be.

Too often, in this politically correct world, we want things and people in nice, neat, cooperative packages. That expectation kills creativity. Collaboration should be opinionated, noisy, messy, bright, creative and challenging. Not all conflict is bad, in fact conflict is great for business.

A recent article by Harvard Business Review (HBR) states, it’s time to change your mindset about conflict. Let go of the idea that all conflict is destructive, and embrace the idea that productive conflict creates value. If you think beyond the trite clichés, it’s obvious: Collaborating is unnecessary if you agree on everything.

Think about it, when was a great idea ever born out of unilateral agreement? Building a team that looks at situations differently, enables a business to better serve their clients. Give your team permission to disagree.

This line by HBR says it all: Collaboration’s promise of greater innovation and better risk mitigation can go unfulfilled because of cultural norms that say everyone should be in agreement, be supportive, and smile all the time. The common version of collaboration is desperately in need of a little more conflict.

Anyone interested in some productive conflict?

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