Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Stuck on what’s next

When confronted with too many good options, it’s easy to get paralyzed. The complaint is that we don’t know what to do next, because we’re pulled in many good directions–and doing one thing with focus means not doing something else.

This is a common way to get stuck. After all, if you’re at this crossroads, where more consideration means more possibility, while more action merely means walking away from a potentially better choice, it’s easy to settle for the apparently safe path, which is more study.

No one can blame you for careful consideration. More careful consideration seems to insulate you from the criticism that follows taking action.

But getting stuck helps no one.

Here’s an alternative:

Write up a one-pager on each of the five best alternatives you are considering. Use the document to sell each idea as hard as you can, highlighting the benefits for you and those you seek to serve.

Then, hand the proposals to your trusted advisors. They vote (without you in the room) and you commit to doing whatever it is they choose. Not thinking about it, but doing it.

Merely agreeing to this scenario is usually enough incentive to pick on your own and get to work.

Reblogged from: here

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Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Change is a word…

for a journey with stress.

You get the journey and you get the stress. At the end, you’re a different person. But both elements are part of the deal.

There are plenty of journeys that are stress-free. They take you where you expect, with little in the way of surprise or disappointment. You can call that a commute or even a familiar TV show in reruns.

And there’s plenty of stress that’s journey-free. What a waste.

We can grow beyond that, achieve more than that and contribute along the way. But to do so, we might need to welcome the stress and the journey too.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

The real law of averages

If you want to raise the standards of any group, improving the top of the heap isn’t nearly as effective as focusing your effort on the base instead.

Simple example: Getting a Prius to go from 50 miles per gallon to 55 miles per gallon isn’t nearly as important as getting SUVs to go from 10 miles per gallon to 15. There are two reasons for this. The first is that there are a lot more SUVs than Priuses. The second is that they use far more gallons, so a percentage increase has far more yield. (You can’t average averages).

If you care about health and a culture of performance, it’s tempting to push Olympic athletes to go just a tenth of a second faster. It’s far more effective, though, if you can get 3,000,000 kids to each spend five more minutes a day walking instead of sitting.

Organizations pamper and challenge the few in the executive suite, imagining that one more good decision in the biz dev group could pay off. The thing is, if every one of the 10,000 customer-facing employees was more engaged and kind, it would have a far bigger impact on the company and those it serves.

I think the reason we focus on the few is that it feels more dramatic, seems more controllable and is ultimately easier. But the effective, just and important thing to do is to help the back of the line catch up.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Cheap symbolism

The engineering mindset tells us that all that matters is what’s under the surface, the measurable performance.

Designers know that perception is at least as valuable.

Symbolic acts are rarely cheap or wasted if they work. Because we’re story-telling creatures, and symbols are clues about which story we ought to tell ourselves.

Symbolism isn’t cheap. It’s priceless.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Been done before

What percentage of the work you do each day is work where the process (the ‘right answer’) is known? Jobs where you replicate a process instead of inventing one…

The place where we can create the most value is when we do a job where exploration and a new solution is what’s needed. Not rote, but exploration. Which means we’re doing something that’s not been done before, something that might not work.

This isn’t something to avoid, it’s the work we need to seek out.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

Outsiders

You can’t have insiders unless you have outsiders.

And you can’t have winners unless you have losers.

That doesn’t mean that you’re required to create insiders and winners. All it means is that when people begin to measure themselves only in comparison to others (“How did I rank?”) then you need to accept the impact of those choices.

It’s entirely possible to be happy and engaged and productive without creating this dynamic. But in a culture based on scarcity, it’s often easier to award or deduct points and to keep a scoreboard instead.

reblogged from: here