Orignally shared in the Rainforest Pulse in June 2018, the following post discusses the value of Paying it Forward when building innovation ecosystems.
Why is Fairness so important to Innovation in Alberta?
Fairness is foundational to the Rainforest. When individuals listen and are open-minded to ideas, experiences, and perspectives of others it breaks down barriers. When people feel they have been treated fairly, they are less fearful, suspicious and more motivated to collaborate. In the Rainforest, Fairness is exemplified though a Positive Sum or Win-Win mindset, rather than a Zero Sum or Win-Lose mindset.
The Zero Sum mindset approaches negotiations or business transactions from a fixed-pie perspective; that is to increase the share of one, someone else must give something up. In an innovation mindset, individuals seek to increase value, knowing they can achieve more by working together. Not all situations are positive sum, but by embracing the value of fairness, members of the Rainforest seek first to add value for all, before deriving benefit for themself.
You may be wondering how you can embrace the value of Fairness and a Positive Sum mindset? Consider the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. One of Covey's 7 Habits is Think Win-Win. He says:
“Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.Many people think in terms of either/or: either you’re nice or you’re tough. Win-win requires that you be both. It is a balancing act between courage and consideration. To go for win-win, you not only have to be empathic, you also must be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, you also must be brave. To do that–to achieve that balance between courage and consideration–is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to win-win.”