Insight can come from the most mundane tasks.
As photographer and author Chris Orwig said in his TEDx Talk, Finding the Magnificent in the Mundane, “beauty can be found in unexpected places… by savoring the moments in life.” The other day I paused while cleaning my blender and found meaning in a simple act - a metaphor which crystallized my thinking on an aspect of sustaining dramatic improvements in performance.
It’s always more efficient to "clean-as-you-go."
A great fighter can take a punch (or hundreds), and choose to keep going. If you are in business today, you’ve likely had to take more than a few big hits lately. If you find yourself reeling - consider what it takes for a champion to stay on his feet and come back for more.
George Foreman said, “Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it.”
The Sweet Science represents the importance of a winning process, staying engaged, being resilient, and finding support for success.
1: Physical and Mental Readiness is a result of a Conditioning Process
Top boxers are conditioned to perform at the very limit of their potential. Their readiness is the result of an efficient and effective process that has stood the test of time.
“Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?”
― Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein
I'm going to go out on a limb here. I'll bet you've worked on (or are working on) a team that is an amalgam of previous groups.
Teams are consolidated to save money.
Teams are orphaned if they lose a leader.
Teams are shuffled to energize a strategy.
All of these may be valid but can result in inefficiency if we don't concern ourselves with what happens after assembly. If we stitch together teams hastily and then abandon them with no sense of self, we run the risk of that team malfunctioning. Crews struggling with identity issues are never a pretty sight.
This creation may even loose the best qualities of its members. Thrown into chaos, plagued by power struggles between cliques, and dealing with clashes of values, these teams start to flail wildly and can cause a lot of damage in the process of finding themselves.
When this happens we leaders can become disheartened and find ourselves writing off these problem-children. And this just compounds the problem.
If you are in the process of reanimating your organization through the formation of new teams from old, make sure you take the time to give them purpose. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for disaster.
Check out what it means to GET TEAMS TOGETHER with TWE>>
That is the last of our 10 Halloween "Performance Horror Stories" posters. We hoped you enjoyed them. It was fascinating for us how they evolved even in 10 short days. We had a lot of fun putting them together.
"I could no longer doubt the doom prepared for me by monkish ingenuity in torture."
- Edgar Alan Poe
Are Teams going back to their "old ways"?
Are groups holding on to previous behaviors and processes with a death-grip?
If you're a change leader, it's not their problem; it's yours.
When change-efforts starts to fizzle, stakeholders have taken what info they have, connected the dots and decided that the change is doomed. And who can blame them? They have a job to do.
Commonly when this happens, leaders crank-up the hype and spin can keep the transformation going. But "rah-rah" sessions won't save it. Results are what count.
Resentment and dissolution among will become contagious and commonplace if the project pendulums between promises of innovation followed by excuses and reversal, followed by innovation, followed by reversal, innovation, reversal... and so on.
Get good at sharing REALITY. Give stakeholders clear signs that you are making steady progress and momentum towards your promised outcomes. This way, even set-backs, and mistakes can be used as propellants and seen as lessons that help you go forward with more clarity.
Check out what it means to GET MOMENTUM with TWE>>
Employees having trouble thinking outside the box?
Are you Having trouble thinking inside a box?
Small offices can still be jammed-full of inspiration. Large spaces can be vacuous and devoid of spirit. Cubical walls can be high and isolating. Office doors can be always-open, inviting others to lean in an share what's on their mind.
I ask leaders to look less nature of a workspace and more at the "walls" that are present (visible and invisible). Offices, cubicles or open-concept spaces are not determinants of the creativity and connection present in a team - Design can help, but it won't counter a culture that inspires isolation and whispers.
It's interesting that many organizations still focus (and reward) on personal performance and productivity, while we try to engineer team connection. Shouldn't team connection and be included in assessments?
And if we're going to create spaces for teams, we have to ensure that our culture and incentive programs likewise adapt to inspire connections between people, collisions of thought and space for creativity.
Checkout what it means to GET CREATIVE with TWE>>
Business Performance Articles for the Progressive Executive and Emerging Leader
For over 15 years I've helped leaders get more from their careers, and give more to their people. My research and techniques have been required reading in Canadian business schools. I write, speak, and coach full-time. I am the luckiest husband alive, and a father with a daughter and two sons. I live near the Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Canada.
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Gallery: Halloween Images