Here’s a good quote to live by: it is said that doing the right thing when it’s easy to do is easy — it’s doing the right thing when it’s tough that is really tough!
It can be difficult to be tough about things, because it’s always easier to be nicer, to avoid stress, to keep away from things that are challenging systems. But if you study innovative people, the fact of the matter is that they are willing to deal with discomfort, and even seem to thrive on it! They thrive on this by being willing to:
- ask the tough questions
- act on the answers to those tough questions!
- ask questions that make people uncomfortable
- challenge others to ask tough questions
- ask why it has become acceptable to not ask questions!
- ask questions that challenge fundamental assumptions
- ask questions that show their complete lack of knowledge about something — which is ok
- ask questions that might make their boss unhappy
- indicate that while they don’t know the answer to the tough questions, they’re prepared to find out
- suggest that maybe there have now been too many questions, and now something simply must be done in order to move forward
What’s the key to this line of thinking?
Organizations can become too comfortable with routine, and unless this is challenged on a regular basis, complacency becomes a killer.
By constantly putting a whole bunch of tough questions on the table, innovators can ensure that innovation paralysis does not set in.
Words to live by!