Look Both Ways Collective Next card image

This is one of a series of posts we’re running this summer about the Collective Next Cards.

We automatically caution our kids to look both ways before crossing the street. It’s an instinctive rule to protect them from harm. 

Rather than serving only as a cautionary command, I think of looking both ways also as a reminder to consider other points of view and empathize –- to understand and know more than we did before. If we don’t look both ways in this context, we won’t know what we don’t know. The results of not looking both ways could range from being less than they otherwise might be to disastrous.

One of the things I love about facilitating collaborative work with Collective Next is modeling this idea of stretching ways of thinking about how to solve problems or build something together. As part of our design principles, we push clients and teams to consider different perspectives, to ask and answer the right questions that will help them achieve their objectives. 

Smart, sharp, successful people often approach a challenge believing they know the solution already. But looking at the challenge in multiple ways helps build better solutions. If you haven’t looked both ways in a long time, give it a try and see what your experience is. Ask the kids in your life for their take on how they might approach a big challenge, like climate change. Read a more liberal or conservative news source than you usually do so you can consider how others believe their views as passionately as you do yours. Talk to an artist or musician or scientist or athlete about a project they’re passionate about — and think about how some of their thinking might apply to one of your projects.

Look both ways. Look many ways. It’s enriching and makes the journey a lot more fun.