Every organization has some level of confusion running through its veins. This is the stuff that causes blocks, blind spots and slows revenue growth. Blame is partially attributable to both individuals and sometimes entire organizations wanting to stay in their comfort zones.
Over the course of the past week, I was fortunate enough to work with three different organizations that busted out of their typical comfort zones. The result? They reached consensus about ways they could move forward, producing substantially greater clarity regarding their missions.
What happened exactly?
Each case was very different. The first engagement was with one of the largest global brands, the second a group of entrepreneurs — Maverick 1000 — and third was with a trade group representing the travel industry. This seemingly disparate grouping of organizations did have one common element among them, however, and this was that each group hired me to help blast them out of the status quo.
They were all used to doing the same thing over and over again, and knew they couldn’t expect a different result. What they needed was to “Think outside the box”, but weren’t exactly certain how to accomplish this. After all this is, perhaps, the most over utilized hyperbole in business, because facilitators encourage groups to think differently but then don’t explain “how” this is done.
That’s why I get called into help.
I have a process that actually works, plus it’s quick and effective! The common denominator with each of these three clients was discovering the pain points and problems they wanted to solve. These are typically the big, thorny issues they have not already solved, otherwise there would be no need to convene these sessions.
What are the steps?
First step is the intake session. The global company had acquired the remainder of a company they owned a piece of already. Their issue was one of better and faster integration to boost teamwork. The entrepreneurs were interested in identifying blind spots and finding ways to dive more deeply into thinking about a particular problem before making a quick decision. And, finally, the travel group was interested in finding more innovative solutions to problems they’ve wrestled with for years.
The next step is to teach them the Ideation process. Part of this process is very conventional, but because participants are capturing their ideas in silence, we’re breaking through one of the limiting factors in brainstorming sessions!
This part is incredibly unorthodox, and would even be deemed to be inconceivable if it weren’t for the fact there’s a Nobel prize in neuroscience at the core of this methodology. Furthermore, my three years of research, including 200 interviews, resulted in the book Simon & Schuster published to detail my process and how it works, titled, Thought Revolution.
It’s at this stage where participants in all three groups discover the truly unique, creative, intuitive and sometimes breakthrough ideas that have eluded them. However, it’s not over until they can reconcile these new ideas with the more logical, conventional ways of thinking. This is where the rubber meets the road and solutions emerge that are both creative, but also highly pragmatic and applicable for organization or the individual.
It’s amazing to facilitate a process where disparate organizations can learn a new way to think, then apply it to a problem they’re having in real time and conclude with solutions they’re willing to implement!
That’s not an average day at work. That’s an exceptional day that allows individuals and teams to feels as if their full potential was harnessed and applied to make a big impact for the organization. It’s also a very rewarding and fun process for me to facilitate.