Are you a bricoleur or a planner?
Do you look at your fridge and make do with what you have or do you list down what you don't have and have a trip to the grocery?
Do you look at what's already working in your organization and build from your bench strength or you're always looking for some best practice out there and apply it across the board?
Do you have tendency to conform to the standards of 'doing things right' or your organization create your own good practice consciously?
In resource-scarce and start-from-scratch organizations, bricolage is not just pragmatic but it helps managers and leaders get on with their agenda. They shun the demand to be 'follow the dream' with more inputs, but understand that their paths can lead them to second-best options.
In a perfect environment, the best planners win. In a non-perfect world, the bricoleurs and improvisers get things done and accumulate rapid success with less. Talent, creativity, and improvisation are great combinations in times of crisis and ambiguities.
Know yourself and the connections, networks, knowledge, and resources that you have at your disposal.
Dig in deep and marvel at what you can achieve, now.
In strategy, the conventional wisdom is to start from your current state/situation/position.
This is faulty and utterly difficult. Our status quo thinking and action propels us to look at what's in our current view. We rarely, in matters of management, look beyond, proactively because as Drucker said, we are constantly bogged down by "the tyranny of the mundane."
The leaders' and managers' job is not to solve problems but to look for opportunities. The future while fraught with uncertainty and high level of contradictions also provide a giant opportunity for innovation and applied creativity. Where to look is a good starting question.
We always look at the leading brands and organizations that are killing it even in the worst of times. But, their trajectories and strengths are different. They also have 'failure money' to experiment without risking their mortgages and future pension.
You have to start with your good practice. You have to start with backward thinking and then create the strategies linking the present situation to your desired states. Some call it the zero moment, when the future states are achieved in the present. Before you even reach this stage, you would be already on to your next-level challenge for your organization.
How much of your time these days is devoted to focusing on future prospects and opportunities, and how much time minding the daily business of keeping the lights on?
In the last 6 months, I learned that there's no way that the epidemic or the conservative responses to the epidemic could help any forward-looking organizations get back on its track or even pursue innovation, if it's just looking at what everyone's doing.
There's no need to wait for someone or something to happen to greenlight what you want to accomplish in the next 6 months.
Either, this pandemic will pass like other flus in a natural way with the vaccine as a first-rate preventative tool or not. It's a given.
If you have the resolve to change the road you're walking on, change.
If you want to continue but adjust, adjust well.
Act on them now and let the chips fall off.
Better yet, build your own roads, streets, or traffic lights.
Don't look behind your shoulder because there's no one there, except your shadow.
The most important of all: Take care of yourself and be kind to others.
In 2002, I got a rejection from a fellowship program which would have enabled me to have an international education.
Nevertheless, the same organization accepted me into their fellowship program in 2015 besting 500 other applicants vying for the prestigious placement.
In 2010, I got a rejection from a job application, noting that I was the second best but they had to choose a more qualified, Canadian-born applicant.
In less than three months, the Director got back to me and inquired if I found the job already and would like to offer a better position.
In 2015, I got an offer for a consultancy with a firm knowing that I have both two senior associates /contacts invoking my name into the project. In less than a month, I got the contract. Six months, I made the connections not knowing where these may lead.
In 2019, I got another offer after an exploratory conversation with the head officer of an organization.
In 2020, I got two offers of publishing contract after three months of selling the book idea.
You cannot second guess your next move as an impact leader. You have a set of information in your hand that you can use to move forward with confidence. Use your best judgement knowing that things may come around, or may not.
The test for this is: were you all in or half-heartedly into the game?
This year, be all in and see what happens. Uncertainty is the mother of ingenuity.
There are 12 months, 365 days and 8,766.15 hours in a year.
How many days will you be spending in procrastination, regrets, and fear?
How many days will you be spending your time to meet long-range objectives?
How many days will you be spending in indecision and doubt?
How many days will you be spending to meet a short-term goal?
How many days will you be spending creating memories and building lasting legacies?
You can earn another dollar but you can't get back lost time.
We have 365 days and 8,766.15 hours in a year.
From my family to yours, have a Happy Christmas and a bountiful 2021!