When it comes to open innovation, the larger effort is not just about finding ideas, but also about partnering with others to co-develop. Sometimes, as is the case when more than one human being has an idea and a goal, this is an area where things start to fall apart. Ideas, creativity, driven people…you get the idea.
But…before you lament contention and disagreement, I am here to tell you that these things are not just inevitable, they are also powerful and productive parts of the process.
At a minimum, contention is not a bad thing, and at best, it’s a good thing.
When it comes to contention:
You will be testing your assumptions, sometimes vigorously.When everyone is getting along great, sometimes problems are hidden or swept under the rug. This may be more pleasant, but it doesn't help the process.
Resolving problems before milestone may be uncomfortable but they benefit the team and the project at the end of the day. There’s more to a launch than looking good to the project manager(s) or senior management. To be resolved, and they will need to be sooner or later, issues need to be out in the open and on the table.
Contention needs to be allowable and explorable. Openness and honesty necessary for a long-term productive relationship.
And at the risk of getting too far into the areas of human resources and people management, I will leave it at that.