What's the relationship between creativity, innovation, change, and leadership?
Creativity: People don't stare at the unknown and wait for the 'aha' moment. They create new things out of old, and turn old things to new activities, services, or products.
Innovation: People apply their creativity as solutions to daily problems. Innovation is not just a step up, but creating new out of nothing.
Change: People have pragmatic expectations of changes in the organization and are willing to join into uncertainty which is a demonstration of commitment.
Leadership: The change process is muddier than we all imagine it to be. Even muddier in the layered context of the pandemic. Leadership without doubt, provides a good lever to buffer against resistance and cooptation.
If your organization is struggling to bring about a transition to better in the pandemic context, keep reiterating and don't stop until you get the culture right.
Without fostering the right culture, creativity, innovation, change, and leadership will remain as idealized concepts. instead of transplanting new values, consider what shared unconscious beliefs are existing and double-dip on it.
Hearts and minds follow emotions, not logic.
There's a lot of talk about the edge of chaos.
Applying it to the on-purpose space, edge of chaos is an exciting and challenging place to be, between disorder and order within organizations and systems. Like natural systems, organizations can self-adjust and adapt to their environments to avoid chaos or disorder.
In the context of post-pandemic, this transition is the most difficult, yet could be the site of creativity, innovation, and adaptation organizations need to change abruptly and with far greater success.
What we learned for the past 10 months with the pandemic is the speed to which organizations impose changes. Most of them carried out changes in a few months which would normally take them years to move things forward. Call it forced choice, but urgency and resoluteness were present.
Take the case of the courts system allowing video testimonials. Banks allowing masking when that would be unheard of in its practice. The tourism sector banking on innovation to help stabilize their industries that are hurting at the moment. These changes would have never happened in our lifetime.
Instead of cursing disorder and chaos brought by the pandemic, the edge provides the drive to overhaul workings that have become stale. In moments of opportunity such as this, take a prudent risk and invite others to join alongside.
It's better at the edge than in the comfort of order.
Yesterday, I spoke at Trico Changemakers Studio and it was a delight to have a very engaging discussion with the members present.
What I observed about the resilience narrative is that they are based on patterns and a sense of predictability that is not present right now in a climate of ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and volatility. I have made a Beyond Resilience paradigm to show what we are missing out on many important themes.
Instead of asking yourselves, are you ready to bring your kids to schools, ask about how education can be reimagined for the future generation.
Instead of asking how can we solve homelessness together, why don't reimagine how the vulnerable population can be part of us, not something to be considered separate, different, and wanting?
We asked the wrong questions therefore get the wrong answers.
We need bold imagination for a future that is not what we desire, but we can thrive and build stronger.
Let's start a conversation.
Within my network of business executives and leaders who are doing well, I see two patterns of opportunity-seeking behavior that are important to underline in this time.
One is that they don't believe in palliative measures and don't look to outward signals to navigate their way out of the pandemic slump. They create their own metrics, dig into what they do best, and engage their peers and industry leaders to help them move strategically.
The second pattern I observe is that these leaders believe with all of their hearts that investing and increasing their impacts is now, in spite and despite of the volatility of the markets. Waiting for the green signal from WHO, CDC, and other institutions to say that all is clear is like waiting for a new utopian society. Nobody knows what's going to happen next year, in two years, so on and so forth.
Two organizations have embarked on a new expansion project for their facilities, upgraded their equipment and protocols, and increase their value as a result. Another organization had been relentless in deepening their connections with their stakeholders that it has become a mature and evolved center since the pandemic, offering never-been-conceived offerings and services, not just as a response to help, but a mission-laden value. The pandemic accelerated their transition from an underperforming asset to a powerhouse organization! A number of organizations have decided that hiring for the future but keeping with the responsibility of pandemic prevention is the way to go.
There are powerful examples of not coasting along and resisting to just cope and endure. Beyond resilience, leaders must prepare for the inevitable-radical change that is now in our faces!
What are you doing now to increase your value and impact to your customers and stakeholders? What is the winning mindset that you should adopt to enable you to thrive and not just endure the crisis?
A few years ago, I have written about the concept of blue ocean.
To fortify this idea, I have encountered recently that it is wise to move upstream when there are bigger sea creatures and not get clipped by a speeding boat and hit by ski boards when you are closer to shore. The former gives you the wide room to maneuver and avoid the predators while the latter constricts your basic movements.
Organizations concoct arbitrary rules, policies, and standards without due consideration to the actual costs and value that these inputs could do to obstruct relations with their customers, suppliers, and partners.
More rules created becomes barriers for taxpayers, businesses, and stakeholders to access services, programs and opportunities for partnerships.
Designed to safeguard an objective process, smaller organizations become their own enemies when they make these arbitrary rules to their detriment. There is a word for that 'bureaucracy.'
Bureaucratic organizations tend to treat themselves as insulated from growth and results orientation, with the pr0pensity to perpetuate themselves regardless of their impacts and relevance to society.
From non-profits, associations, community clubs, government organizations, and other types of community initiatives, and social enterprises, the first question to ask: how can we get rid of the problem so that we can get out of the way?
Are we there yet? The little boy asked his parents from the back of the van. Eager to get into the destination, he forgets that the trip itself is one big adventure.
Like that little boy, some of us are still persistently asking the authorities, our leaders, our neighbors, the statisticians, or any one who wants to care, "are we there yet?" in terms of economic recovery.
Are we at the tail-end? in the mid-wing? or completely out of it without us realizing or feeling different? Statistics do not say much. Perception is reality.
Instead of asking 'are we there yet' what can we do right now to steel up and get going despite and in spite the economic woes we are experiencing as a province, with policies left and right that try to suppressed our natural resources and gifts, and the kinds of leaders bent on reversing all the decades of economic development we had built.
All these taken together should give us the fodder to
-strategize not only to survive but to grow, beat the competition, and dominate our markets;
-define our value proposition and solicit more feedback from our loyal customers;
-now is also the time to invest not hoard 'precious dollars' to help us bounce back better when the boom is back;
-seriously create a mindset that takes setbacks as good feedback;
This 'are we there yet? persistence could be driving all of us mad.
Let's stop this whining and moaning to realize we are creating our doom and gloom prophesies. We have the agency, volition, and control within our leadership roles to get back on the right track.
Did I say stop whining?