Crossing the Bridge- Post # 1

Many of you may remember an event in Minneapolis, MN on August 1, 2007. That event was the collapse of a bridge known as the I-35W Bridge. Thirteen people were killed and 145 others were injured. People I worked side by side with crossed that bridge every day, and one of those people was sitting in rush hour traffic on the phone with a family member about 5 minutes or less before it went down.
Thinking about that, my story “Crossing the Bridge” is short and simple, and addresses the value of Diversity. Imagine if you will 2 new bridges being built. Bridge #1 is built under the direction of Mr. Know Itall. Mr. Know Itall designed what he thought would be the very best bridge for the site, after all he knows everything. Everyone who worked for him was required to follow his direction exactly as he told them. The Bridge was built and named “The Bridge to Know where”. The person in charge of building Bridge #2 was Dynamic Dina. Dina took a different approach. She brought together Mr. Brick and his team of concrete masons and engineers who knew by working together they could calculate the correct load requirements for the new bridge, and design the right road surface with the correct amount of rebar and even work with electrical engineers to provide a surface that could be heated just the right amount in the winter to prevent icing. Ms. Yellow ran a design firm, that worked side by side with Mr. Brick’s firm and together they created a bridge that had the most Dynamic profile a bridge could have.
It’s not about how Dynamic the bridge looks however, now it comes down to this: Would you rather take the “The Bridge to Know where” or would you rather follow “The Yellow-Brick Road”?
If you chose “The Bridge to Know where” remember Mr. Know Itall made all the decisions, never once accepting suggestions or seeking input, because he knew it all. “The Yellow-Brick Road” was designed and built by a collaborative effort of men and women from different backgrounds and trades all lending their expertise to be certain that every possible scenario that could happen was addresses.
Let me ask you once again: Would you rather take the “The Bridge to Know where” or would you rather follow “The Yellow-Brick Road”?
The moral to this story: When we are open to listening and working with a diverse group of people, the outcome can not only be one that is embraced by a more diverse group of people, but it can truly be dynamic.