Whether you like it or not the way you behave as an organisational leader is going to colour your organisation.
To be more specific, the behaviours that you praise and the behaviours that you punish will be your culture. People will behave accordingly to earn praise or to avoid punishment. If you don’t like the culture of your organisation take a look at how you’re encouraging people to behave.
Any specific innovative idea looks like a bad idea. By definition, it’s new, it’s untested and it looks different from the status quo.
If it looked like a really good idea other people would be doing already and it would not be an innovation.
The trouble is it’s difficult to tell which innovations are genuinely bad ideas and which innovations just look like bad ideas. It’s not easy to spot the difference between an idea that will work and one that will flop, even for people who have a long history of great innovation. Brilliant innovations are difficult to sift from the not so good innovations. Mistakes, wrong turns and backward steps just come with the innovation territory, along with the knock on consequences of the mistakes – expended time, expended money, expended effort.
That’s why most organisations lose their innovative spirit and edge – they’re no longer willing to take the consequences of launching a bad idea. They no longer have the nerve to make the mistake and pick themselves up to try another idea.
It’s simple, if you want to innovate, be prepared to get stuff wrong. Be prepared to have some colossally bad ideas. Be prepared to expend time and energy and money on ideas that never make it.
Be prepared, but don’t be disheartened! Remember…
When have you innovated? When have you failed and what have you learnt?
Why are you the way you are? Have you ever considered the reason why you do what you do, behave how you behave, are who you are?
If my behaviour (being polite, well spoken, restraining from certain actions, actively doings things, etc) is done to make me look good, or fit in or appear to be someone of value, then I am governed by my circumstances and when those circumstances change, so will I. I will change like the wind.
And likely as not I will achieve nothing of lasting substance.
But if my behaviour is governed by my values, what I believe to be right, I will not change unless I choose to rethink my value base. I will have integrity and I will be able to accomplish many things because I will be lead by an internal compass and not the ever changing whims and fashions of society.
Why do you do what you do? Why are you who you are?
Failure is not final. In fact to get stuff wrong and make mistakes is merely learning something new. But failure IS difficult. It is tough to come to terms with sometimes. It knocks our self confidence and it can have a big impact on us.
One sure fire way to lessen the impact is to do more. Doing more insulates us against failure. It’s simple maths. Let me explain.
Imagine two salesmen who both make phone calls for a living. Salesman one, we’ll call him Bob, makes seven calls on this particular day. Salesman two, we’ll call him Bill, makes 70 calls on this particular day. Suppose they both fail to make an appointment in five of their calls each.
For Bob that’s a 71% failure rate. That’s a pretty big failure. Not a good day for Bob.
For Bill that’s just a 7% failure rate. A 93% success rate. Way to go Bill.
In fact even if Bill failed in twice as many calls as Bob, that would still be an 86% success rate. You see, Bill took massive action and insulated himself against the few (relatively speaking) failures that he had. Bob, took relatively little action and so a few failures became nearly total failure.
Which man do you think went home happy that day? Same number of rejections, but totally different outlooks on the success of the day, because of massive action.
Insulate yourself against failure by taking massive action!
I saw this great little video the other week, with five life lessons to learn from the humble pencil. Watch and be inspired.
Take these five lessons with you today: