The Mediation Times


God bless the Irish! Love of ambiguity = innovation and entrepreneurship

by Amanda on June 20, 2010

Disappearing Bust of Voltaire by Salvador Dali 1941 - may need to squint to see the ambiguity

Apparently, God did indeed bless the Irish not least with a love of ambiguity which is seen as key to future innovation, according to a recently published research on Hat tip to @3keyscoach for the link via Twitter this week.

Results from a sample of 117 Irish executives and entrepreneurs indicated a substantial bias towards right-brained cognition when compared with international norms.

Right-brained thinking, towards which the sample showed a preference, includes attributes such as intuition, the ability to make seemingly unrelated connections and tolerance of ambiguity. Ambiguity and the ability to hold incongruent ideas without stress is regarded as inherent to entrepreneurial activity because start-up businesses are often original, innovative ideas that require people who can think laterally and see the bigger picture.

These attributes also appeared frequently in my research into the profile of an effective mediator.

It also reminds me of a story from my very early career. I had just left university and was working in my family’s business. I was given the “deadly” job of credit control. There was a large amount outstanding from a household name and no one had been able to get to the bottom of it and so I saw this as a way to impress my father who was decidedly difficult to impress.

I did hours of research and number crunching and finally, I found where the error was. Rather pleased, I rang the accounts department of said household name company which was in Ireland. I went through the steps with the accounts lady that I had carefully prepared and which I thought would lead her to the same realization. And then they would send me a cheque.

It took about 20 minutes and at the end she said to me in a very calm and sincere tone

Is this money we owe you or money you owe us?

That was not quite the end of the conversation but very nearly. I was floored. When I told my father he simply roared with laughter and retold the story many times. So I guess I got to impress him if not in the way I had intended! I thought that I had not explained myself very well but perhaps it was the Irish love of ambiguity.

For more on entrepreneurship, innovation and creative business skills, check out the Mediation Business Summit

Richard Perkoff
Richard Perkoff

In my experience the problem is not holding two incongruent views at the same time without stress. It is the inability to realise that they are incongruent.
God Bless All Here!


...which can be charming and infuriating in the same moment!
Hello Richard! Thanks for commenting on the post.

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