Month: November 2012

Don’t Take Things Literally

taking things literallyAs I wander around on a daily basis I find myself taking note of signs and posters and interpreting them in ways that the original author had never intended, by taking them literally. For me it is a humorous exercise but try it on your own scribblings and see if your communications are up to scratch.

Seen outside a pub – Good Food Served Here. Well would you actually deliberately sell bad food? Why not use the space for a meaningful marketing message?

Seen near a school – Slow Children Crossing. Am I to drive slowly because I am near children or am I being warned that these particular children are in need of cattle prods?

Seen in the toilets at a motorway service station – Wet Floor. Is this a warning or an instruction?

Road sign in Essex – Secret Nuclear Bunker

Seen on newspaper stand at motorway services – Please refrain from reading the newspapers

Sign at Northampton General Hospital – Family Planning Advice, Use Rear Entrance

Creativity, Gardening And Cookery – Envisioning The Future

creativity gardening cookeryThe traditional change process

Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter said “a clear destination is necessary to guide the journey of change. Many change efforts falter because of confusion over exactly where everyone is expected to arrive.”

Of course, we don’t always know what our final destination is. However, answering a series of questions can help us decide where we want to go and provide easy steps for getting there.

  • What problem are we trying to solve?
  • What’s the current situation?
  • What are our ultimate objectives?
  • What needs to change to meet your objectives?
  • What process should we employ?

Stop right there!

There is a better way

Can you see something wrong with this course of action? It is a traditional change process that has been taught on many a management course over the last 2 decades or so. The above was actually billed as ‘envisioning the future’ but in reality it is simply ‘bending the organisation to fit’

So what about the future, how do we envision it, create it and share it? There is a longer article in the pipeline but here is a summary.

The traditional methods imply a big change, going from here to there, a long or tough journey that not everybody feels is worth it. Also the journey is often forced upon us. In the embryonic creative organisation there is no journey, except through time. Instead of steps we are building an environment (think of a children’s den as a metaphor). We think of capability and opportunity and have a feeling about our new environment, but we have no concrete objectives. Because we value capability we visualise what can be done, not what engineering can be done on our organisation to make it fit our ideas for the future.

We are living in a world full of ambiguity here. What are our values, do we have a structure, have our roles changed? The only constant is change – but not as we know it.

And finally what process do we employ? A mixture of cookery and gardening!