When you see the word ‘improve’, maybe your first thought is to get rid of things that are a waste of time or money. That’s only logical. But you could also choose a different perspective. In other words, instead of looking around to see what you want to dispose of, you could examine where you want to get to. And then look at what’s holding you back. House of Performance’s ‘What If?’ spectacles will help you and your team to create new scenarios together. You stretch your perspective, just as JFK did when he talked about his goal of putting a man on the moon. This often results in outpourings of the most bizarre ideas, together with some brilliant pearls of wisdom. Which dream do you want to achieve with your team? And… what’s holding you back from achieving it now?
JUST SAY “YES, AND….”
The ‘What If?’ spectacles draw on the creativity that we all have within ourselves. Start by embracing every single idea that is proposed. Don’t judge them yet. This means that no suggestion should be cut off with a judgemental “Yes, but…” Not one. Instead, react by saying “Yes, and…”, thereby building on a colleague’s idea. Just try it out in a short practice session, and you will discover an enormous difference in energy between “Yes, but…” and “Yes, and…”.
By using these and other creative techniques, you will create a whole spectrum of crazy “What If?” ideas with your team. Of these, 9 out of 10 will be too weird for words and completely unachievable. But it’s all about the 10th idea, which could sketch a tempting scenario that you had never previously thought of.
NELSON MANDELA AS CEO
“What if we had an unlimited budget?” of “What if Nelson Mandela were to become our CEO tomorrow?” “What would that do with our behaviour? And with our performance? Or with the choices that we make?” These are the kind of questions that can just pop up when you put on the ‘What If?’ spectacles in your team. By thinking up improbable or even impossible scenarios, you create new insights and discover your other values. “Would Mandela make sure that we do more about Social Corporate Responsibility? Or that we get more diversity into our team? And what would that then mean in terms of employee satisfaction? What would it do for our customers? And for our results?” And take care: think “Yes, and…”
The trick is now, working from that 10th unconsidered-yet-tempting scenario, to examine what is at this moment holding you and your team back from taking the first step in that direction. How? At House of Performance, we believe that you only truly learn about a system when you try to change it. That’s why it’s also a question of trying things out, and simply beginning with a first, small change. With this in mind, choose an experiment that’s so small that you can already carry it out next week. In order to do so, you first need to focus on what you want to change, and also on what you want to achieve in so doing. That’s step one. The second step is to experiment: assess whether what you hoped for is actually happening.
MEASURING THE EFFECT
Let’s take an example: for instance, you’ve developed the Nelson Mandela scenario and decided to become more socially responsible. Why? Because you expect to feel more involved by doing so. Through this scenario, an assumption emerges: the lack of socially relevant activities appears to be a bottleneck in your organisation to increasing its sense of involvement.
So then you test this hypothesis with a mini-experiment: for instance, you and your team go and renovate the local sport association’s clubhouse. The intended result is that the participants feel more involved with the community, even if it’s just for one day. Shortly after the renovation day, you measure the effect. Has the sense of involvement not measurably improved? Then go back and adjust your scenario. By continuing to go over the same steps, you will be able to continuously improve so that you go further in the desired direction. That’s the effect of the ‘What If?’ spectacles.
Continuous improvement sometimes demands that you make room for brilliant ideas and daring experiments. Would you like to have a sparring partner to discuss your future with? Call House of Performance!