Is Conflict Good For Progress?

By NPR/TED Staff

August 23, 2013

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Making Mistakes.

About Margaret Heffernan's TEDTalk

Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but Margaret Heffernan says good disagreement is central to progress. She argues the best partners aren't echo chambers, and how great teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

About Margaret Heffernan

The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead managers and organizations astray. How do organizations think? In her book, Willful Blindness, Margaret Heffernan examines why businesses and the people who run them often ignore the obvious — with consequences as dire as the global financial crisis and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Heffernan began her career in television production, building a track record at the BBC before going on to run the film and television producer trade association, IPPA. In the U.S., Heffernan became a serial entrepreneur and CEO in the wild early days of Web business and was named one of the Internet's Top 100 by Silicon Alley Reporter in 1999.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Listen to this story

Audio Player


AudioPlayer.setup("media/flash/audio-player.swf", { width: 335, initialvolume: 100, transparentpagebg: "yes", animation: "yes", buffer: 5 }); AudioPlayer.embed("audioplayer_1", { soundFile: "http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/ted/2013/03/20130329_ted_04.mp3?orgId=1&topicId=1006&ft=3&f=174037793", titles: "Is Conflict Good For Progress?", autostart: "no" });











New WVPE Shirt
New WVPE Thermos