July 14, 2016

Is thinking like da Vinci & Einstein a lost art?

Creative thinking in our accelerated world.

When one considers the accelerating role data and data/behavior tools (apps) are put at our fingertips and how they are helping to define and differentiate business success, who is being challenged to take part and play a role?  I suggest, that it is everyone.  All who use some form of a smart device are linked to either be engaged or to know how to leverage that engagement.  With so many people involved there is a high rate of change and a race to continually gain a competitive advantage.  Therefore, change is the new norm.

The challenge is to be able to think and adapt in this new environment.  How are we to do this and think differently to solve problems quickly and with new insight?  I go to the following quote: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” Albert Einstein.  Our world is moving and changing much faster than Einstein’s was, therefore his statement is even more profound in today’s context.  But does he suggest we have to think forward or back in regards to “the same thinking”?  He just said the “the same”.  Have we lost sight of great thinkers of the past and the effectiveness of how they thought?  I would also suggest that the societies of the past left the challenge of original thought to a select few.  But now, everyone is talking about thinking differently to not only get ahead, but stay relevant.

I believe the past has something to teach us about how to think.  Many of these thought leaders of the past were not only great mathematicians and engineers, but they were also artists and musicians.  They leveraged a holistic approach to gain access to the higher planes of thinking.  Often finding inspiration or “aha” moments by challenging their minds across a broad set of subjects and skills.  Many thought analytically and creatively; formulas and data with visual exploration (sketching).  I suggest that we have lost this art of thinking approach and it is hindering our progress.

Is the technology of our environment we’ve created possibly hampering our own thought process?  We are biologically wired to think holistically, yet we compartmentalize our thoughts through our electronic tools & programs coupled with structured, patterned behaviors.  This is not to say that some technology can assist, but it rarely can match the wide open aperture of our eyes, the agility of our hands and the open dialogue of human interaction.  Unlocking our thinking is not that difficult, it just requires us to allow ourselves to step back and embrace tools that require the use of our opposing thumbs and personal interaction.  Think and explore with your hands.  Write, draw, form…create from your insights and share by putting them in the physical hands of others.   You might be surprised what that technology can unlock.

September 23, 2015

Can a Manager Not Get Eaten by Culture?

We have all heard some form of the phrase “culture eats strategy….” Then what happens to managers within that culture?

If you think about culture as a prism that refracts what you put into it resulting in behaviors that effect results then culture is something that can either eat or leverage what lives in the prism of an organization.

Managers, who are the bridge between strategy from the top and the rest of the organization are caught right in the middle of the prism. They are also caught between the current need to press forward and the residual “leader culture shaping” from the last leader, yet a manager’s job is to enable and execute on the strategy using the organization.

TMG Cultural Prism

So are managers doomed?

How do you, as a manager, navigate this? How do you, as a leader, help your managers succeed in this environment?

We have found success in a methodology of thinking. If one can begin to predict the Cultural Prism refraction, one can work to adjust the input to get results they want. Working as a team, a manager and a leader can begin to adjust actions by both that effect tactical actions and help shape the environment in which the cultural prism refraction takes place.

For the refraction, it’s about the performance of the prism over the type of the prism. Culture is like the brain, it is placid in nature. It evolves and adapts as it encounters different inputs and exhibits traits at different evolutionary states. So we suggest monitoring it through a performance tool that focuses on traits tied to performance to be able to see how the culture is behaving against inputs.

This also allows something like culture, which is non-linear in nature, to be able to be talked about from a data-oriented, linear perspective. The tool we use is the Denison Organizational Performance Model where your cultural capacity to perform is benchmarked against a current global index. This allows the dialogue around culture to be aligned around data verses a more unstable alignment based on opinion.

Denison Model TMG Socit

A manager is then armed with data to have honest dialogue with both forces they are between, leaders and the organization.

The perception is then talking about the data not the messenger’s opinion.

We then overlay The Morse Group Change Model of SOCiT™ – See it, Own it, Create within it.

Depending on the data scores from the benchmarking a manager can begin to see and predict where to focus and where pitfalls may appear through the processing of inputs to results.

The Denison Model can not only give a big picture current performance state, but can also be used to leverage conversations and thinking around behaviors and routines to effect change. This then builds toward results in different refractions from the cultural prism for better performance and growth.

In summary, the manager does not have to see culture as a constraint that they do not have the ability to reframe.

Through dynamic tools like the Denison Model, managers can now begin to have constructive aligned dialogue to begin to be methodical about getting the results they need from some that is very non-linear, like culture.

Would you like to learn more about helping your company create alignment, gain discoveries and drive Results? Please contact us.

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