From Discord to Effective Innovation Cycles: Mitigating project team hierarchies

Nicole Norris, Alexis Tennent, Irena Pozgaj-Jones, Adam Dagenais, Joanne Renaux, and Shaun Alfonso

Research has been done to understand how personality types and cognitive styles play into teamwork and interpersonal relationships on participatory innovation teams in organisations. While there is agreement that heterogeneous teams may have a higher potential for dominant cultural norms of success, there is also understanding that such teams tend to experience more’ conflict’. This is especially true when organisations resort to doubling down on dominant cognitive styles – often a risk migration strategy – to push past the tension and simply “get the job done” and allow dominant worldviews or cultural narratives to lead.

This perspective sees “conflict” as a barrier to implementation without understanding the importance of tension generated in diverse teams in co-creating value for economic, social, and planetary flourishing. Our work investigates how we might understand and mitigate the hierarchies on community-based social innovation design teams that prevent us from benefiting from the full complement of cognitive styles necessary for innovation and overcome dominant “double down” productivity narratives.

The activity proposed allows participants in immersive AR and VR spaces the ability to “walk-thru,’ a co-creation methodology for social innovation in rural contexts, as implemented through an institution of applied learning in higher education. While many innovation frameworks – social or otherwise – are grounded by pre-determined outputs and outcomes, this methodology is centred on leveraging the tensions of plurality and the various diverse ways they think, understand, and see the world.

KEYWORDS: systemic design, community-based participatory action research, flourishing, living labs, impact networks, post-secondary education, Ashoka

Posted September 2022 content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) Symposium.