“What else are you thinking?”
That’s the question my Dad asked whenever I came to him with a request. Dreaming big wasn’t his objective. He merely knew that sometimes we let our reservations, and doubts limit our sense of the possible. That decisions we make too often overlook opportunities we failed to fully explore.
There’s security in sticking to fishing in small, familiar ponds. The more we know, the more familiar and natural it is to grow into a good, even great fisherman. In time, our change in perspective adjusts the size of the pond, and so too do external changes in the environment. If you link your future to the pond, you also limit and even risk your livelihood.
My dad was a small businessman who learned the lesson of variety in business from his five uncles who were all small businessman. He understood the appeal of the pond model but recognized fish also thrive in rivers and others made it to the open sea and back. What Else thinking he taught me, looks beyond what’s in plain sight, pushes the boundaries of my own thinking and invites other possibilities. It asks me to voice the other thoughts I had dismissed too quickly or overlooked entirely.
My own curiosity and sense of possibility strengthened over time while I noticed my peers and superiors infrequently missed the opportunity I noticed. In order to get along, I began to study what as well as how they saw a situation. Learning about learning became my passion–understanding the role of experience, representation and curiosity my goal.
Curiosity became my guide and expanded my view , and reminded me that there was always more the the first thoughts or sights. That people didn’t always think what I think, and that was an easy way to expand my understanding and close the gaps between thinking and successful doing. Along the way, I transformed from a reactive listener into an agile receiver, and a doer into an enabler and collaborator. My growing reputation as a problem solver mirrored observations of my ability to learn quickly, and landed me high impact assignments, short on resources and time.
Secrets to my success?
Transformation from listener to receiver, and doer to enabler.
After working in small and large organizations, resource rich and poor, the most meaningful contribution I make is the questions I raise. Gently pushing back on someones thinking isn’t a challenge to their authority, it merely helps shift their thinking and take more control of their future.
Our work creates and enables positive change. Our objectivity and diverse experiences gained as independent agents don’t stand outside your organization. Instead we work knee to knee within an organization to design and dimension alternative frames of reference that improve revenue, operations and profitability.
Our experience and ability informed from working in diverse Fortune 50 settings-from financial services, energy, IT and media offers alternative perspectives on how to approach a problem. Proof is in the results we delivered and reflective assessment that offers clients new insights into where to begin and how to keep the spirit of change alive.
Frameworks, like culture can also prove surprisingly self-limiting. The associations that link actions and circumstances, as in the physical and emotional conditions often lower people’s expectations. For customers, employees, investors or business relationships to change for the better, we find that changing one or more of the following operating assumptions will bring dramatic results:
Breakthrough performance, or innovation, requires alignment on critical shared values. Our work with your team can help you leverage existing operations and culture to connect on a higher collaborative plane. In essence we help you loosen the constricting frames and presumptive associations to stretch the inherent knowledge pocketed across the organization to imagine a different reality and then play it out.
Innovation is a process. It requires practice, repetition and perseverance to build the confidence necessary to realize higher performance. Likewise behaviors change with repetition, and so finding the right cues and making new environmental associations will allow you to maximize the potential of your employees that they have kept to themselves.
Our experiential learning tools and collaborative approach focus employees attention and efforts and allow your organization to effectively capitalize on emergent opportunities.
After seeing what makes a growth initiative work and what it takes to push doubts aside, the design in our approach and toolbox engages, energizes and enables people and activates results oriented behavior.
Our approach may be playful; but its powerful.
Call us and we’ll show you.