“There is no problem that we will solve by pretending that it doesn’t exist!” -Futurist Jim Carroll
People love to avoid the obvious, live for the ability to evade big issues, and do everything they can to hide from the truth.
We are, after all, skillful manipulators of the truth.
We hide talking about the truth, while all around us disruption and change unfolds around us at a furious pace. One day, we wake up, and realize that we were just like Blockbuster, Kodak and Sears.
And in that setting, I’m often asked to provide a keynote on the need for continuous collaboration and a regular exchange of ideas! (Hence, the sign on the floor in the photo, which was the underlying theme for this particular event!) Collaboration is often an odd topic, in that it is difficult to build a culture based on one if the organization has many key underlying structural,
historical and legacy issues.
Contradictions abound in this type of setting – senior management wants me to talk about the benefits that come from shared ideas, but aren’t willing to address the organizational silos that prevent such sharing. They need people to focus on the great opportunities from information sharing, but do nothing to change the renumeration and bonus strategies that are based on collective effort.
These issues go to the heart of problem solving too. People won’t fix a problem if they refuse to acknowledge it.They won’t get involved in discussing the steps that will provide them a road for rebuilding if they pretend the need for such a road just isn’t there. They won’t wan tot tackle the big issues if they pretend they don’t exist.
What should you do? Undertake an ‘innovation and collaboration audit.’ Confront the problem up front!
After all, with rapid business model change, competitive disruption, fast paced technological developments, rapid and new branding challenges, customer churn, social networks and all kinds of other challenges!
Right now, you need to make sure that you have an organization that is open to new ideas, and is thinking about innovative ways of turning challenge into opportunity.
Rather than hiding from them!