Yoram Solomon, PhD
Do you want to be around smart people who disagree with you?
One of the TV shows I love the most is The West Wing. There is an episode where Leo McGarry, the Chief of Staff, interviews Ansley Hayes, a young lawyer, to be an associate White House counsel.
But here's the deal, Ms. Hayes is a Republican, and the White House is Democrat. I'm not going to get political with this post, but for that reason Ansley finds it very hard to believe that they want her to work there.
Leo explains in a very powerful statement:
"The President likes smart people who disagree with him."
One critical element for building a culture of innovation is the ability to have constructive disagreements. But to be able to have constructive disagreements, you must surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you. Not with people who agree with you.
So, do you want to be around smart people who disagree with you?