What are habits?
Habits are behaviours we perform almost automatically. They are not usually something we have to spend any time thinking about, we just do them, for example cleaning our teeth regularly. Bad habits can become destructive, and these kinds of habits require our attention if we are to live healthy and fulfilling lives. An example of a bad habit could be the way we automatically open the fridge when we return home, looking for comfort food or drink to ease the stress of the day.
This applies equally in our working lives as much as our personal lives. I have written before about the habit of responding ‘yes, but’ to new suggestions and this is an example of an habitual response we can get into.
It is important to reflect upon the habits we have developed, the consequences of these and review those we want to change.
Continue reading “Habits and how to change them”
Risk is a part of life: something we all live with. Some people are more comfortable with risk, others have no choice. However. I propose that for change, development, creativity and innovation, a level of healthy risk is essential.
Risk and Fear
Risk, however, can bring with it feelings of fear. As I write this I remember reading the book by Susan Jeffers, Feel the fear and do it anyway . It had a very positive effect on me at a time in my life when I was about to leave a full-time job in one country for an uncertain freelance career in another. The fear around risk is that we may fail. However, if we never take a risk, we may never live life at our best.
This fear of failure is prevalent in organisations. Failure is often punished and the consequences of this is a reluctance to start or try anything new or different. This is detrimental to creativity and innovation. As people and as organisations, without taking a risk, we cannot develop and change. To enable creativity and innovation risk is essential.
Continue reading “Risk and why it is important for Creativity”
An article in the New York Times last year suggested that creativity is the new cure for mid-life crises. By taking up a creative activity, it stated that we often get in touch with a passion we may have forgotten about or not had the time to fully explore. In doing this, we can find a new meaning to life in a way which buying a new car could not achieve.
Continue reading “Why Creativity?”
‘It’s where he is now but it wasn’t what he planned.’
These words had been going around my head for weeks since I heard the Damon Albarn song ‘Mr Tembo’.
Somehow it has particularly resonated as I was facing a not unexpected but nevertheless unsettling change in my career. Continue reading “‘It’s where he is now but it wasn’t what he planned.’ A personal experience of change”
I recently came across a very interesting article about Kaizen methods
of change which led to me revisiting the concept of Kaizen and change. I have always understood Kaizen to be about facilitating change through small steps. In fact the original Kaizen approach, as declared by the Kaizen Institute , emphasizes that it is not just about small steps, rather it is about everyone being involved in change. Continue reading “What is really important in a change programme?”
To quote Mintzberg whom I referenced in my last blogpost , ‘As Kierkegaard once observed, life is lived forward but understood backward. Managers may have to live strategy in the future, but they must understand it through the past’
At the point at which events happen we often cannot totally understand their meaning and certainly not their full implication. We can only infer what this may mean in the future. However we can and should look back and reflect how events have shaped where and who we are now in order to move forward. Continue reading “Life is lived forward and understood backward”
As someone who is in the business of supporting others to change, I accept that the setting of goals is very important. However I am reminded, every time I set a goal, of the line from John Lennon’s song Beautiful Boy, ‘ Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans’.
I am sure this has been interpreted many times in many ways however I wanted to share my take on this and the context in which I am writing this. Continue reading “Goals are important however they should not be set in stone”
I have been enabling change for as long as I have been working! This has taken many forms, as a manager, a teacher, trainer, facilitator and coach. One of the constant challenges I have found is how to gain peoples buy in to what can be a very painful process. If we are honest, few of us like change initially. You just have to look at the way people choose to sit in the same seats every day on their daily commute! We create our own comfort zones by forming habits and performing rituals on a daily basis. This provides a sense of security and I am not knocking this as I need this as much as anyone, however we do need to be pushed out of our comfort zones in order to grow and develop and for change to happen. Continue reading “Enabling change in an energised way”
Passion can be defined as any powerful or compelling emotion. This can be either positive or negative and wars have been fought due to the level of negative emotion. So, what does passion mean in a work context?
4 ways in which passion is important at work
- Passion is strongly correlated with motivation. If people are passionate about what they are doing then they will be motivated. Motivation and passion will keep you going and developing
“The thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.” – Malcolm Gladwell Continue reading “4 ways passion is important at work”
Creating a shared vision
Creating a vision is essential in any change process because a vision offers us a strong mental image of something we want to create in the future and it can motivate us towards that future. When the vision involves others, then engaging them in a shared vision is extremely valuable. It is more powerful than developing a strategy particularly if it is developed as an image rather than using words. Continue reading “The value in creating a shared vision”
Some time ago in my working life as an employee I initiated a change process which made excellent use of creative tools. I will come back to this example in future blog.
Since then I have been using creative tools in my work in a variety of contexts as well as teaching them to managers and leaders. I am convinced of the value of using creative thinking tools in order to work through the change process.
So what does this mean? Continue reading “Change and the creative process”
Change is a given in organisations and the need for change is recognised when there is a gap between what is desired and what exists. We could refer to this gap as a problem or a series of issues, sometimes even an opportunity.
In terms of problems there are two ways of looking at these, tame and wicked problems. Tame ones are relatively easy to solve as they are clearly formulated and there is an obvious testable solution. These can be solved using logical, rational means provided that there is a clarity around the problem definition. Continue reading “Wicked Problems and Creative Change”