Moving beyond just ‘doing’

‘Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing’ 

Adolph Monod, reformed pastor and theologian, 1802-1856 

We live in testing times.

Our every move is open to scrutiny, criticism and potentially even twisting to suit the needs of others. Individuals and businesses are generating ideas for innovation every moment of every day but fear often gets in the way of acting on them. Fear of failing, fear of discovering the idea wasn’t new, fear of being wrong, fear of change…

Some begin to explore their ideas and come against a barrage of reasons to decide they shouldn’t take them further. They may feel they can’t act alone, or that the challenge is systemic and too big for them to tackle. Or maybe they just feel like they don’t have permission to act. Even worse, from time to time they actually don’t have permission to act and feel that they aren’t expected to voice their ideas.

So the natural default is to revert to the norm, comply with what is already set as standard and merge with the crowd. We see this happen to individuals, managers, teams, businesses and organisations all the time. We ask ourselves what our peers are doing and align whilst also telling ourselves that we want to lead.

But society is changing. It is volatile and confusing, flexing and growing in places but also declining in others. Climate change, pressure on resources, movement of people, acceptance and celebration of diversity, inclusion, technology, new markets, disruption all around us. So many things it is bewildering.

So to make it easier we often stand still, let it all flow around us and see what lands within easy reach. Others might just let go and let themselves be swept along and see where they land when they are spat out of the flow. Some might try to swim against the flow, trying to stay where they were but expending their energy holding just one point in sight.

None of those are wrong, we all find our own way through. But what if you learn how to read the flow. Figure out where to leap in, how to navigate a path. The ride will still be wild but there is more control over the destination and energy is spent more gainfully.

In business just standing still is a risky strategy. As the context around you changes adaptation is critical. This may be as simple as keeping abreast of legislation and trends, a bare minimum for survival, just doing business and accepting what you believe you cannot influence.

Leaping into the flow and hoping for the best is also risky, you’ll land where you land, bedraggled and exhausted and grateful to have survived but what next? Do you wait for the next flurry before you change again? What did you learn on the way to help you cope again? It was brave to leap but were you actually doing things differently? Leaping into the unknown without a solid strategy for change probably won’t get you where you wanted to be. And you might find your team didn’t make it all the way with you.

Attempting to swim against the flow may seem attractive at first, holding on to what you know, doing the same things all the time. Eventually you come to realise that you are using more energy to stay still, doing nothing new, than it might take to try something new. But choosing to let go of the old takes courage and that may not come naturally.

By far the bravest act is to decide to do something different.

Stand back, read the water and decide on the path you want to take. Identify the skills you can use to take you there, figure out what needs to be developed. Designing your strategy is like building yourself a boat to help you travel through, plot your route and make the most of the ride. Only when you are ready do you take the plunge and steer your way through leading your team as you go.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s easy, there will be hidden rocks and changes in flow to deal with but you will come out of the other end stronger for it.

Catalicity is about enabling you and your team to prepare for changes that you want to make, against a backdrop of a constantly changing world.

If you are ready to move beyond doing simple compliance with legislation and standards to create a different way to operate we can help you improve your capacity for change. You are the catalyst, we help you to improve your catalicity.

Find out more at www.catalicity.com

Email us on sandra.norval@catalicity.com

Or call 07985 610626 to talk through your plans

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