Collaborative Dissent

The Value of Deference to Dissidents

Hey, here’s a tip to get the best out of all available minds when making change.

There are, in the trajectory of many if not most organizations, agencies, associations and collaboratives, Moments of Decisive Evolution; as successive mission shepherds take the reins from previous and the original Visionaries have become fondly respected Historical Foundation. 

Revered Dinosaurs. 

Happens all the time to the best and edgiest. Easily preempted.

It is critical, at such times of Progressive Evolution – as new pathways and new directions are envisioned and conceived in response to the advances of time, of cultures geographic and demographic, of the wants & needs & interests of the bodies being served – that Leadership include at the table and throughout the conversation or workshop a faction of informed dissent.

Invite Dissent from the beginning. Listen to them. Hear them… Not a one-off hearing, but through the entire process.

In the vetting of any new idea, concept, approach or methodology – well before the expense and time of a Field Test, Launch or Redirectional Pivot; the scrutiny of articulate, acute dissent is vital prior to and through manifestation.

This can save vast amounts of money and time, human resources, backtracking and retrofitting…and embarrassment. Just sayin’.

We can guarantee that the spectrum of possible downsides perceived and voiced by Enlightened Dissent will likely be vastly different than those seen by an already Enthusiastically Supportive Majority. Therein lies the critical value. At the beginning is when this conversation is most valuable; when crafting The New Thing. To cut passionate critique from the conversation and process is to handicap and possibly inadvertently subvert the original intent and vision. 

“They’ll see that we are right in doing this…” is a risky, often deceptively unperceived limb on which to venture. Have those conversations before implementation; and keep them alive, step-by-step from ideation to completion.

You’ll have a far better product and be much more likely to make some positive history. Better to Listen and Hear before Going Public, n’est-çe pas?


Postscript Paragraph. 

The Writer’s Room is an apt metaphor for the crucible of advise and dissent that can create a complex, complicated and compelling story arc through sometimes intense debate and disagreement on the best path forward.

Leave a Reply