February 23, 2009

Kill Realism

When tough times start showing up, we start thinking realistically. Ironically, these are the times when creative genius and inspiration are needed the most, yet, rather than simply thinking beyond the current set of circumstances or perceived limitations, we limit our potential to respond to the issues that are in front of us.

Tactical decisions will not be so dramatically impacted by these decisions. Our limited vision and implementations will, for the most part, fail quickly.

The danger comes when we are planning strategically based on a mindset of realism. Executive management needs to think creatively when it comes to strategy. Where do we want to be in five years? What is going to define our business in the next seven years? What do we stand for?

A lot of organizations can't even answer the question that asks why they exist in the first place. Why are you here? To make a profit for your shareholders? That's not good enough. That's not creative. That just says that you are willing to compromise whatever it is that you are doing currently when times get tough and jump onto the thing at the time that has the potential of gaining a financial return. To be completely honest, that just makes you nothing more than a zombie. Go with whatever the big money maker is, and follow the crowd. That's what zombies do.

Not very inspiring, is it? Yet, this is exactly the playbook that so many organizations use.

If you are going to make it through these tough economic times, you need to be prepared to think of some pretty creative ways to keep on track. And, if you haven't defined why you are even here, then you know where to start. If you need some help either defining why you're here, or how you are going to move forward, let me know. I am more than willing to help individuals and organizations become everything that they have been designed to be.

Please, stop killing creativity and innovation in our organizations and lives. Instead, attack realism with zeal, and let's do something great!

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