This morning, when we were at our neighborhood sports club, we happened to notice that many of the monitors on the exercise equipment were tuned to different news channels. Some were on Fox; some were on CNN; some were on MSNBC, and some were on CNBC. Located no more than two feet apart, the rows of monitors displayed very different headlines that told different stories about the world from different points of view.
Now if you’re like us, you’ve grown accustomed to relying on particular media for news. What’s worth considering, however, is whether habitually relying only upon a narrow sample of channels could be limiting all of our views of the world. How could gaining an understanding of the same situation in new ways actually contribute to game-changing success? Our sports club offered clues….
The monitors on the equipment, each flashing a different channel, signal that we are a diverse society and we all take in the world in our own ways. Likewise, as customers for your company’s products and services increasingly consist of diverse individuals and tribes, it’s important to acknowledge this reality and go beyond our own comfort zones to gain a greater understanding of how others are perceiving the world, making decisions, and taking action. While tuning into more than the usual media sources is a starting point for broadening our understanding of others, setting the environment for new conversations to happen is the real key for building bridges that create new value and make the world a better place.
For more ideas on this issue, here is a link to our Growth Igniters® Radio conversation “How Business Leaders Can Bridge the Growing Divide Between “Us” and “Them” [Episode 144]. Our featured guest is Howard Ross, a lifelong social justice advocate and the founding partner of Cook Ross Inc. Howard is considered one of the world’s seminal thought leaders on identifying and addressing unconscious bias. His newest book, Our Search for Belonging: How the Need for Connection Is Tearing Us Apart, describes how to bridge the divides in our increasingly polarized society.