Contributed by:
Morgan Harrison
AIA

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Cognitive Climates, Conflict, and Mentors

The June Emerging Leaders Program class focused on cognitive problem solving and mentorship.

This month we discussed that there are two types of cognitive environments: innovative and adaptive. Both adaptive and innovative ideas have merit, so both must be stimulated to create a successful cognitive environment. Within these environments, the innovator starts the design realization process by creating an idea or concept, bridgers join the process to help articulate the idea, and adaptors to execute the idea. This cycle should not come as a surprise to you, but an interesting point of discussion was that innovators are not necessarily needed in this cycle. The entire cycle can be run by adaptors. 

Within these cycles of work, conflict is inevitable. In fact, as noted by Pete DeLisle, Hon. AIA Dallas, conflict is the natural order of things. The driving factor in the model of conflict is time.  One of my biggest take-aways from this class is that it is important to remember that time is a limited resource. To resolve conflict quickly it is important to figure out the other person's needs and work with them to come up with a solution. 

Mentors and Proteges was the topic for the panelist discussion. Nancy McCoy, FAIA, Lacey Kerbo (Beck Group), and Joe Patty, AIA, participated as our panelists. They discussed their experiences with mentorship and gave the class advice for finding mentors, having effective relationship with your mentors, and the importance of writing down your life and career goals. 

Our class also voted on several design ideas for the CitySquare Columbarium. Three ideas were chosen to present to our client the following week. The overall feedback from CitySquare was positive and we are currently collecting and organizing their suggestions so that we can implement them in the design.