Alternative 1: Do nothing, i.e. maintain the status quo, do what we’ve always done and get completely overtaken.
Alternative 2: Do something different. Doing something different might work, it might not, but at least we’re trying and we’re learning (hopefully) while we do it.
So, how do we do something different, when we’ve “always done it that way”? How do we minimise the risk and maximise the outcome?
First, we can ask, what has changed? Why is what we’ve always done not working any more?
If we’re having trouble thinking outside our box of normality, there are interventions we can try: we can reflect and give ourselves some space, maybe by going for a walk, we can try talking to someone from a different department, company, industry, working with a coach, bringing in an outside facilitator, just to name a few of the possibilities.
If we want to create an organisation that is constantly adapting to our ever changing world, we need to enable continuous learning.
Continuous learning allows people to try and fail and adapt their approach. It gives them the flexibly and resilience deal with change and uncertainty. To enable continuous learning we need to give people the tools, and I don’t mean the technology, I mean the processes, and especially the skills/know-how. We need to help people (regardless of their position/role) feel confident asking questions, challenging the status quo, admitting they don’t know the answer, to collaborate and work together towards a common goal. We have to help them bounce back when something hasn’t gone as planned, and give them the space and time to try again, incorporating what they’ve learned into their next attempt.
We can create an organisation that is flexible, purposeful, that allows people the freedom to find the right solution, if we have the courage to enable it, to let go of the need to control everything. We need to have the courage to trust the people we’ve hired and trust ourselves that giving up control will take us to new levels of achievement.