Innovation, unity and diversity: what does the rock band Queen teach us?

What kind of unity should we be seeking to be the most innovative, resilient, adaptive, successful organization?
A unity of vision with a diversity of ideas, views, attitudes and experiences might be the best balance.

Social media algorithms are feeding us more of what we want to hear; they are not enriching nor expanding our views, thus reinforcing ideas and not opening our minds.

This is also the case in teams where we want to reach consensus, we want to avoid disagreement feeling it is bad for the morale of the team. That we should not rock the boat for the good of the team’s unity.

Queen, is a rock band and an unlikely source to show how to best proceed.
“we are like a family, yet every song is a fight with a huge diversity of views” = is the recipe for success.
Brian May “There were lots of arguments about how much input everybody had. We were like four painters with a brush each but one canvas. There was conflict, but we got there.”

“We all influenced each other. That was the secret of Queen. We pushed and pulled each other, mercilessly.
We had a family relationship. It wasn’t always nice, because families aren’t always nice.
We sometimes said terrible things, but we got the best out of each other.”

From Queen, we hear about the sense of family, the four painters with four very different ideas, that one canvas where all of the ideas had to converge, the conflict, the pushing and pulling and getting the best out of each other.
So do create that unity of vision and allow the diversity of ideas, views, attitudes and experiences to make that vision happen.

unify around a goal not a person, ideally a higher purpose

“You cannot unify everyone’s thoughts, but you can unify everyone through a common goal.

Don’t even think that you are able to unify what everyone is thinking; it is impossible.
30% of all people will never believe you. Do not allow your colleagues and employees to work for you.
Instead, let them work for a common goal.
It is a lot easier [and safer/better] to unite the company under a common goal rather than uniting the company around a particular person.”

from an interview with Jack Ma (billionaire founder of the Chinese Ali Baba portal)

I personally see the need to find not only unifying goals, but also higher purposes, of the kind that bring not only the mind but the entire being of each individual of your team to dedicate their full set of talents to achieve them:

I push you to find unifying, higher purposes, that connect to the customers you serve and to the bottom line you need to achieve.