Pushing the Envelope

“If everyone is thinking alike,
then somebody isn’t thinking”

George S Paton

We all know how important innovation and collaboration are in organizations, especially tech companies. It is usually highly prized and encouraged. But to achieve these breakthroughs, we need to push the envelope within ourselves and in teams.

At the same time, everyone seems to be discussing the creation of an atmosphere where we feel safe to speak up, which will also add to our ability as a team to innovate by getting everyone’s point of view.

If pushing the envelope and feeling safe seem at odds with one another, then you would be correct, and I would agree.

People are also talking a lot about psychological safety, as though talking about it alone and how we should behave will achieve a safe environment to speak up. I am not convinced. We need more than books and workshops filled with platitudes and clichés to accomplish the safety required to improve collaboration while pushing the envelope.

My solution is to provide an intervention toolkit similar to what a referee uses in a soccer game to protect a player from harm. However, this toolkit allows us to self-manage our micro-conflicts (spats) in real-time during heated discussions while pushing the envelope.

The proposed intervention toolkit is called SpatzAI and it consists of the following:

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