“I thought our managers would come up with bigger, more breakthrough ideas,” an executive recently said.
One of his colleague’s responded, “Yes, I agree; I would have expected these leaders under us to have more strategic ideas, it just seemed like more of the same.”
I watched this scene play out as an executive team shared their “breakthrough disappointment”.
They had asked senior leaders beneath them for ideas to revitalize the strategy and innovative approaches to a challenging business future.
If you’re suffering from breakthrough famine, here are four areas to review and potentially reset:
-Check content and process of leadership and cross functional meetings across the business. Are you building “play it safe” agendas, meaning such meetings are cramped with information sharing and little time devoted to solving wicked problems or taking tough decisions?
-How vibrant is your mistake culture? To what degree do you highlight (and even celebrate) mistakes and failures because of how they help everyone learn?
-Where’s the rigor in your business reporting; have you and others grown complacent talking about activities instead of focusing on results?
-Are you promoting a business strategy that is simply a camouflaged forecast plan, seeking safe, linear improvements instead of breakthrough results by preserving the status quo that keeps people busy and comfortable?
Breakthroughs don’t just happen and are often triggered by a breakdown. This means creating the environmental conditions and fearless action that encourages risk-taking as a pathway to breakthroughs.
How are you and your executive team setting the example for breakthrough thinking, acting, and results in your organization?
Image credit, Lakshmiprasad, 123RF 119123416