Your attitude towards difference will determine your ability to change

Posted on June 27, 2010

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Our mind works in many ways and directions. Some aligned and aimed in the same direction others as opposite forces battling each other. As an example of opposing forces I will comment on ‘curiosity’ in opposition to our ‘need of security’.

Curiosity and need of security
I translate curiosity as our constantly search for answers to everything we meet. Curiosity is a force that may claim responsibility as a big contributor to human development and growth. But what about recognition as the major dynamo go human development, you might ask? And I thought about that too: What came first, the egg or the hen?

I certainly have no clear answer, other than I see the two forces as present in the melting pot I mentioned above. Maybe race for recognition and curiosity should be seen as drivers that in some cases supplement and nurture each other? As much as recognition can be seen as standing firm and fighting for your values, achieving recognition is also about daring and promoting your person. And what better reason than doing something completely new and showing that your person holds the power to step into new territory – physically and thinking like?

As I see it curiosity is a needed approach when your find yourselves in a stressed situation but even more when you are at peace and your basic needs are filled and you have the time to direct your attention to interesting areas, asking the whose, whats, where’s, when’s and hows. In a square perspective I see curiosity as a driver in 1) stressful situations with a focus on solving problems and in 2) balanced situation with a focus on development.

The movie Apollo 13 as a picture of collaborative effort
As a picture of the first see the movie Apollo 13 comprising actors like Tom Hanks. Watch the scene where the ground staff is working in an extreme stressed time schedule to fix the carbondioxid problem in the shuttle heading back to earth. This scene is also a great example to completely unselfish behavior and open mind attitude as nobody has a clue on how to solve the problem. A collaborative effort.


As a picture of a balanced situation with a focus on development see for you a nonprofit and non corporate financed research and development project whit a group of academics working together having absolutely no idea what they will discover.

Your attitude towards difference will decide your ability to change!
This postulate could be the center of the battle between the need of security and our build in curiosity. In general we link up with other people who look like us. It gives a certain security and peace at mind. We do not have to be in opposition constantly, working hard to make our “right” positions come true. We have a saying that “equal children plays better together”. But in a development perspective equal persons only produce old knowledge. Their minds are aligned and it is difficult to think out of the box.

We are forced to think out of the box
Today complexity is embedded in all aspects of human life. The need to think new is more clear and pressing than ever before. We need to acknowledge that difference is a necessary ingredient in very work process that seeks solutions to known challenges and to challenges that requires development and out of the box thinking.

That is why your personal competence to work with and handle difference (people, processes and structures) should be one of the most important work competences of today.

And that is why your attitude towards difference will determine your ability to change.