What group are you in? (Be careful with your answer.)
Our brain craves belonging to a tribe or group. And, because we also desperately fear rejection, it’s easy to understand why we work so hard to reinforce that we’re not different, that we belong to this collection of people – and definitely not that one.
Today, however, more than ever, change is required to succeed, if not survive. So, it’s an easy calculation: If we operate entirely within the vacuum of our clusters, it’s reasonable to predict that little will change.
Scientist have long known that different and new life occurs where ecosystems collide, such as when the forest meets the plains or water touches the shore. Now, behavioral scientists are determining that when someone gets to the edge of their culture (tribe) and connects with those from another group, new things happen, too. In fact: Due to an exposure of diverse ways of doing things, we’re far more creative.
Which brings us to that important reminder: Will our job functions or our titles or our political party or the color of our skin or our role or our gender or where we live – will these things define us? Or, will we step from the norms (and those who need us to think as they do in order for the tribe to exist) to create new value – and let that more accurately express who we are?
I’ll meet you at the edge.