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Ground Rules Deep Dive #4: Respect Those With Whom You Disagree

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

Opponents are essential for uncovering valuable insights. Enemies are detrimental. They simply shoot down points of view that differ from their own.

Adversaries open our eyes. They help us see a problem from another angle. They remind us that every issue is multifaceted and that the right solution is not in choosing one viewpoint, but to link it to other equally important ones. The solution then can serve multiple uses.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #3: Everyone Participates

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

At every meeting, there are those who feel and think that they have the only right answer. Naturally, these active individuals put their ideas forth without hesitation. They may have thought about the issue for a while, or they consider themselves more expert, or they speak longer because it confirms their leadership role. In the meantime, those who are less certain are quietly listening and observing the proceedings. They may think that, compared to these more vocal leaders, their thoughts have less value. So, unless invited, they stay quiet and keep their thoughts to themselves.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #2: Confront Internal Contradictions

By Milenko Matanovic

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #1: Turn Opposition Into Proposition

By Milenko Matanovic

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

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The Institute for Everyday Democracy: Strengthening Collaborative Intelligence

In November of 2016, Pomegranate Center and I became reflective about our country’s fractured state and how our work and mission should evolve to address it. What came out of our conversations and planning is a natural extension of the work we’ve already been doing for thirty years: determining the best ways people can work together to improve our communities.

Since retiring from the role of Executive Director, I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time engaging with the Pomegranate community through thoughtful conversations, which have in turn inspired me to focus more on thinking and writing. I’ve been fortunate to spend the last three decades doing the hands-on work of collaborative community building with Pomegranate Center, and now I plan to take that experience and focus on the invisible work that is so critical for our world now, what I call the work of “everyday democracy.”

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