The Will to Continue

Blog 2020-10-06

A friend told the story of how she sat in her car each morning trying to get the energy to get out and go inside for work. When asked why, she spoke about how everything seemed so hard. She felt beaten down by outdated procedures and processes. She didn’t feel she had the power to make changes. Bottom line, she saw no value in what she was doing.

If this sounds familiar, know you aren’t alone. Many of us have faced the challenge of having to do things because “that’s the way we have always done them.” While some processes require that kind of rigor, many don’t. What breathes life into an organization is the ability to be creative and to innovate…to work towards something better.

Science tells us that there is a bias towards the status quo. We tend to look at things and focus on what we could lose if we changed something rather than on what we might gain. We tend to stick to the familiar, which is not always the best thing. In a recent “Harvard Business Review’s Management Tip of the Day” on how to make better group decisions, it suggested to appoint a devil’s advocate and watch out for blind trust in experts. Wouldn’t that be great to also apply periodically to the way we do our work?

It’s time to get curious. What works? What doesn’t? Why? What would we gain if we changed? Start the conversation and see where it leads. People are smarter than you think. Yes, there are things that will remain hard and there are things that can be made better. Choose to make things better.

This Week: Last week’s post was about the power of words. When things were not going well at work, one of my favorite games was to have people in the office talk in rhyme for 10 minutes. Laughter broke the tension and allowed the possibility of “what if we…” to appear. Try a little levity this week at work.

In Next Week’s Post: Fostering open communication.

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  1. Doug Brady on October 6, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Terrific ME.
    I volunteer to be the devils advocate in the room.
    Clever idea.
    Thanks for sharing.

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