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The People Dividend Podcast

Nov 29, 2022

“Collaboration isn't easy, and that’s where having someone to shepherd this along to support them is critical,” explains Todd Erickson, Founder of Collaboration Arts, a creative consultancy for collaborative meetings, events and networks. Today he talks about the importance of collaboration and how diverse communities can come together to create authentic change.

Polarity management is vital for creating healthy collaborative environments. Communities are made of diverse groups of individuals, all who may have different and potentially conflicting points of view. For open discussion and authentic change to occur, people must feel safe to share their views without fear of backlash. Todd facilitates this by breaking people down into groups and giving everyone a chance to be heard. Using a discussion methodology where people can voice their ideas and then vote on which ones to implement helps reassure people that they are being seen and their ideas are being valued. 

When problems are approached from a multidisciplinary perspective by people from diverse backgrounds, there is greater chance for creating innovative solutions and inspiring authentic change. Leaders may be inclined to balk at the idea of collaboration, because they fear polarity. However, the best leaders are ones who understand polarity management and can embrace differing viewpoints.


“Helping communities to really see this polarity as a set of values that seem to be in opposition to each other, but are actually interdependent, because we need both values over time to be successful.” (22:20-22:40 | Todd)

“It's not about everyone getting their voice at a mic, it's about everyone getting their voice at the table.” (25:03-25:09 | Todd) 

“Doing cycles of this kind of discussion methodology really gains the trust of the community, because they see that they're being heard.” (27:40-27:52 | Todd)

“Collaboration isn't easy, and that’s where having someone to shepherd this along and to support them is critical.” (31:46-32:00 | Todd)

“One of the great values I think art provides for us is this ability to help us make sense of our world. Artists bring these new perspectives and help us to see things we can't as individuals see.” (43:04-43:24 | Todd)




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