I recently posted on how failure is essential. Along the same lines of failure being essential to learning, conflict is essential to innovation and change. I’ve often felt this. Not everyone feels this way, but I love a healthy debate. Rick Brenner recently published an article in his Chaco Canyon series on this topic, called Teamwork Myths: Conflict. At my last job (Atpima), one of the many wonderful projects I worked on was called TeamBuilder (my name was conveniently left out since I left the company). You can follow that link to read all about it, but the relevant concept is when you’re building teams that need to work on hard problems that may require out-of-the-box solutions, conflict can lead to new solutions. Or at least a thorough review of the pros and cons of the known options. When a team has a well-defined problem and must act quickly, conflict can be bad. Just like tools, you need different ones for different tasks.