If you’re anything like me, you tend to put off the more difficult things and work on the easy things first. Of course, there is a lot of debate about whether this is the best way to attack our projects, but we all tend to form habits that we find work best. So whatever way works best for you, there is one primary consideration you need to pay attention to: when you have more questions than answers, it’s risky not to address them.
Have you ever noticed that trying to look for a gigantic “Ah-ha” moment rarely happens in a straight line? It’s frustrating, I know, because when you need a big idea, it requires something more than simple arithmetic or basic chemistry. Instead, what’s usually required is a heavy dose of inspiration and luck! The idea just seems to appear and we’re off to the races.
Many books have been written on how to produce the next big thing. And to make matters worst, Marshall Goldsmith wrote “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There,” discussing that just because your strategy has worked up until this point, there is actually no reason to trust it will continue to work for you now.
Where we all tend to go wrong is believing in our assumptions and not doubting our doubts. What I mean by this is simply the major issues we currently face require something new, and that only comes by our willingness to rethink our current beliefs and challenge each and every one of them.
This takes the mindset for us to challenge everything and the raw emotion to throw away anything that now stands in the way of our finding the next best steps. Unfortunately, we often experience a tug-of-war between our current strategy that we’ve practiced for a long time and our need for a new long-term solution.
So what are some practical steps we can take to overcome this human nature tendency— the tendency to hold onto what is familiar and resist what is new and different. Consider these if you find yourself wanting to rethink an area of your business.
Knowledge refers to what we already know about a situation in our business. The amount we might know is infinite— we have become experts in this area and have relied upon our good judgment for some time now, but we realize it’s time to find new knowledge to resolve our current situation.
Strategy represents what we will do next to fulfill our highest calling and purpose in our business. Strategy doesn’t replace the vision, it fulfills it in the best way possible. When the marketplace changes on us, and it certainly has done that in the past three years since Covid-19 began, you can’t remain time-bound in your current perspective. Challenge yourself to rethink what you have been doing and ask yourself, “Does this still make sense for us today?” Nearly always, the answer to this question will be no!
Change represents the courage required to take on a new idea and the grit to see it through, knowing that the risk of doing nothing far outweighs doing something new. This is where most of us fall apart in the rethinking process because of that nasty habit of staying with what we know versus finding something new that will take us into the future.
We don’t have to think very hard to find examples of companies who began rethinking their strategies far too late in their game: Kodak, Blockbuster, Motorola, and the list goes on and on, doesn’t it.
When your questions outnumber your answers, it’s a very good sign that you need to start rethinking your business strategy. This is the biggest takeaway: Don’t trust what you’ve been doing will allow you to keep doing it.
The truth is, we are not very good at sifting through our ideas and strategies with the mindset of challenging them. Many, if not most CEOs, hire an organizational consultant and coach to help them develop the change they need to sustain their company. This is because an organizational change consultant helps them see outside their current line of sight and helps them find the solutions they need. Of course, organizational change is what our firm provides for CEOs who face challenges they want to solve, so feel free to contact us today.