We mostly live in discipline bubbles - hanging out with 'like-mindeds' and sharing thoughts and ideas with people ... just like us. These bubbles are comfortable, familiar and fun. They 'get' us when others don't.
We have all seen these bubbles in the workplace; often organically forming in a casual, yet powerful way. They herd together to create a sense of belonging that we, as humans, are naturally drawn to. But if we’re not careful these bubbles can see us retreat further and further into our own discipline, becoming so 'specialised' that it is virtually impossible to see outside ourselves.
Bubbles tend to reinforce the way we think and what we value - they rarely question, stretch or improve us in a transformative way. And the unintended consequence is that innovation, inclusiveness and diversity take a back seat.
All the things we are striving to bring to the fore.
While it may not feel good, inviting people in who frustrate, annoy and disagree with our views is good for us. It ensures we continually stretch our thinking, question our own beliefs, and test our 'great ideas'. It makes us a little uncomfortable in our otherwise comfortable world of bubbledom where, if we're not careful, we can begin to think, sound and look alike.
So next time you sit around a table and engage in conversation in an excited and comfortable way with a bunch of people ... just like you ... think about bursting that bubble by occasionally inviting someone in who is just that little bit different.
Image: Alejandro Alvarez on Unsplash