Have you ever noticed that the road to innovation is not straight nor is it flat, it’s disruptive, curvy and sometimes riddled with potholes? Typically, those potholes create distractions that cause burnouts, minor failures or even monumental, catastrophic failures.
The net result of this can often be loss of focus and fear within many organizations, especially as we start a new year. 2016 will be a year of major disruption in my opinion and it will require all the Ikigai and Kaizen you can muster within your organization.
Today, let’s examine how you handle actions in the workplace.
Are you reactive to the events occurring within your environment and around you or do you take initiative to prepare for, participate in and/or control the events?
Do you intentionally take an active or passive role? Do you think in terms of the present or do you look to the future, anticipating outcomes and preparing for the consequences?
Are you a procrastinator in terms of making make a decision? Do you only make decisions when you have to, when you’re backed into a corner or when you’ve put it off for as long as you can? Or do you make conscious, intentional decisions as part of a larger, long-term plan?
How you answered these questions can have a profound effect on your career and company. I find that to be successful today every leader must have a laser focus and proactive, so here is how I view F.O.C.U.S.:
I have been a fan of the TV program NCIS since it was originally released. I have loved it for a number of reasons but most of all because of the focus on Gibb’s rules as a core of operations for the team. There are 50+ of these rules that have cropped up in many of the episodes over the 11 seasons.
One of the aspects of Gibb’s rules, that I like, is they are dynamic and change as attitudes and underlying values change which is important for growth. While you need to retain some rigidity, the flexibility allows you to balance responses and reactions
These rules have their foundation from Gibb’s values and time leading black ops missions while he was a Marine. They were adapted to his work with the NCIS investigative team so they have a tendency to be reactive or military based.
While I agree we can apply many of the characteristics of military engagement to business, I find they are limited because the motivations are different. In reality, nothing we do in business is truly life threatening or based on imminent physical danger. Yes, there are those who have this perception but it is rarely fatal to an individual.
As a leader, you are probably interested in the sustainability of your company, if you’re not then it may be time to find something else to do for a living. The key to continually being on the sustainable path, you really need to focus building blocks that can provide the base of a culture of innovation. That’s because, in a fast-moving, VUCA world, where people expect things to get better and better, and cheaper and cheaper, innovation is your primary tool that can be used to get ahead of your competition and stay there.
Innovation is not some mystical, close your eyes and with wishful thinking have something appear that is new, improved or revolutionary. It is something that must be done intentionally, proactively and with full participation by all within the company. Building blocks can make it easier for everyone.
Our brain was never designed to just trap and retain information, in reality it was created to allow us to generate thoughts and ideas. So often you retain so much useless trivia that it may actually hamper our ability to think creatively.
When you have a job, you are paid to exercise thought power in the execution of plans and processes so it is important to understand how to avoid burnout and be productive at work, at home and in society in general.