Seth Godin is the master of keeping it simple. I borrow his expression ‘doing the work that matters’ frequently. Seth’s blog post simplifies the difference between choices and decisions and our confusing of the two. We encounter choices in our real-time wayfinding process. What if we streamlined our efforts by making quick choices, so we open bandwidth to focus on the decisions that matter. Make a game of choosing by spinning a wheel, asking the opinion of the next person we encounter, selecting the adventurous route, or going left. Decisions impact the work that matters and requires time and information. Which TSA security lane to stand in at the airport is a choice. Which person to join you for a month-long expedition is a decision. Make time for the decisions that matter, few remember how quickly you navigated TSA, but many benefit from your decision to commit to the mission.
A template for a spinning wheel if you are game to choose differently.
What if we marked our strategic scorecard with ‘achieved’ and ‘not yet’? How might this approach change the growth mindset of our organization? What conversations might this language facilitate? How might it change where we focus? What does a ‘not yet’ say about the goals the endure? Effort, strategy, and progress are what we seek. The ‘right vs wrong’ paradigm tends to cutoff options when we use such definitive language. We are looking to curate a different mindset.
Buying a slice of pizza is a readily accepted model of the sharing economy. We are hungry enough for a slice but an entire pizza would overwhelm our capacity so a market has been established to offer portions. The pizza maker gets to make an entire pie with the knowledge that customers will purchase pieces from the whole without demanding an original that has been segregated. We repeat the shared model at grocery stores, co-ops, pet stores (one puppy is fine, the entire litter is too many), on Craigslist, and with childcare. The challenge is to move the model into our own enterprises. Not everyone needs a sound system, LCD projector, and projector screen. These items are easily shared. Add the the human element and sharing gets more colorful. Sharing a development officer, volunteers, board members, and customers tests levels of trust and loyalty. We need to remember that another organization’s success is our joy. We benefit personally and organizationally when those around us reach their and surpass their goals. Sharing offers a pathway to success and adds value to many more individuals than we could serve on our own.
What are you sharing? What do you need to consider sharing? What have you been asked to share?
Do you build fences and walls? What is the purpose of your fence and wall? Who is it for? Does it keep somebody/something in or out? Castles, prisons, farmers, and resort hotels each build walls and fences but they served very different purposes. If you do not know your purpose, you may unintentionally find yourself on the wrong side of the wall you are building.
If you were to design a coat of arms for yourself, how would it manifest itself? What symbols would you include? Colors? Accents? What would be the story contained within the shield? What if you were to merge with another kingdom? What symbols would you keep? Which would you be willing to forgo in order to make space to incorporate symbols that were important to your new partner?
You may have memorized the path but how does an individual who is new to your enterprise navigate their way? Today I was locked in a room that I had entered with a key card. The only way out was to use the interior door and then come around the outside and re-enter with my key card and prop the door open in order to remove my bags. I am sure there was a simple way out but somebody made the assumption that everyone would know how to do it. I needed instructions and nobody was around to help so I improvised. I am guessing I am not the first one who has found the exit confusing.
What assumptions are keeping you from serving those who are seeking you? How can you add value by being more generous in directing them towards you?
Our commitment to reaching a destination is tested when we encounter detours and closures. If we are prepared to alter course we are far more agile than when the route outweighs the destination. Too often we forget to survey the landscape from the summit to find alternate routes.
“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”