Courageous leadership is a lofty goal. Having a deep, data-driven understanding of your organization’s collective interests and values can help you achieve it.
Differences is the place to start discovering where common ground and polarization exist. This tool instantly identifies points of convergence and divergence in a discussion by finding and grouping participants who responded to thoughts in a similar way.
Are there a dozen people who think your plan is way off base and ten others who love it? Differences will show you. Does your leadership team think their last retreat was a huge success but their team members disagree? Now you’ll know for sure.
Differences provides three different analysis options to help you better understand perspectives and make the best decisions.
Interesting Thoughts is the core component of a Differences analysis. They’re thoughts that one group rated highly and another group rated lowly—essentially a snapshot of the topics that divide your participants. As such, Interesting Thoughts are the data points that take the most courage to follow up on. However, reading these thoughts and considering the underlying interests that link them can be the key to building consensus amongst people with polarized viewpoints.
Common Thoughts (High)
While the Interesting Thoughts shows you areas of contention, Common Thoughts highlights ideas that unite competing interests. Even when groups of participants strongly oppose one another on the surface, there are always some thoughts that everyone agrees are important. The common thoughts that both groups rated highly represent the key takeaways in your exchange. They’re the things that everyone wants to see acted upon. These thoughts are often some of the highest rated in the entire conversation and they can act as a bridge between diverging interest groups. Seize these opportunities for action and your stakeholders will thank you.
Common Thoughts (Low)
These are the thoughts that virtually nobody supports. Exploring thoughts that got low ratings from both groups can deepen your understanding of their shared values. Often, these thoughts are incomplete or impractical and received low ratings across the board. However, sometimes you’ll unearth a nugget of gold that provides valuable direction. Were you planning to invest in an idea that no one on your team feels is valuable? These are the thoughts that will tell you. At worst, they represent an opportunity for better communication. At best, they could help you avoid costly missteps.
By examining the various opinions and interests groups in your exchanges, you can understand the full organizational context and use it to inform your decisions. Differences saves you time and effort by delivering crucial comparisons on a silver platter. They could be the key to unlocking the results of your next Thoughtexchange.
Have questions about Differences? Read more here or drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.