March 7, 2007 | Ken Reed

Can You Risk Doing the Same Things The Same Way? by Michele Lindsay

Change . . . why does change invoke such a negative response in some, yet others embrace it? Is it fear of doing something new and different or is it complacency? Things are good enough. We haven’t had a major failure yet, haven’t lost a big client, haven’t had significant quality problems . . . so it must be good enough. We have been doing it this way for years, besides, who has the time or energy to change things that are working just fine?

If you are not changing, the world around you is. We cannot prevent our environment from changing – our clients, competitors, regulations, technology or stakeholders. Maintaining the status quo will not allow us to meet the demands of this complex changing environment. Organizations that look at change as a means to create opportunities instead of simply as a threat, will find better ways to do things, new products or services to meet changing needs.

Steve Jobs at Apple is a great example of recognizing a changing environment (legal issues regarding downloading music), the changing customer wants and the improving technology and created the iPod and iTunes which has reshaped how people get and listen to music.

Albert Einstein stated, “We can’t solve problems with the same level of thinking that created it.” Change, by definition, requires different thinking than before; demanding solutions that are not part of your prior experiences. Who better than to do that than those who so clearly understand the problems or opportunities?

The challenge is humans are hardwired to set up mental patterns and to stick to them. We don’t naturally break these patterns. The mind is a self-organizing system. It allows us to be effective and efficient in carrying out tasks, especially repeated tasks. Trying to break these patterns goes against the way our brains work most efficiently. It can be very difficult to achieve the “out of the box” thinking that is required to change and innovate your processes, products or services by going about idea generation the same old way.

The good news is that innovation need not be left to those “gifted” with creativity. We can leverage the knowledge base and experience of those closest to the work. We can learn deliberate tools that can be applied to develop new ideas, processes, tools and systems to create the results you need to meet the complex demands of our changing world. It is possible to break old patterns and mental models that made you successful in the “old” environment and create a successful future. You can understand the innovative thinking process, learn the tools to shift paradigms, identify opportunities, reduce meeting time, improve decision making, and create truly new solutions so you can break those old mental models or patterns and change the way you do things. Can you risk doing the same things the same way?

Join Michele Lindsay, a certified Six Thinking Hats Instructor and a TapRooT® Instructor for the past nine years, for an interactive, practical course in breakthrough thinking. Create the outcomes to move you ahead of your competitors, address your client’s needs, fix problems and improve the way you conduct or provide business.

The objective of the Innovation and Creative Solutions course is to provide attendees with the opportunity to deliberately apply tools to reframe problems, identify opportunities, and develop and evaluate “outside of the box” thinking.

This 2 day Innovation and Creative Solutions Course is available at the TapRooT® Summit on April 23-24, 2007 in San Antonio, TX.

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