“If you don't change you can become extinct." Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese.
How many times as kids did you hear, no, you can’t do that, no that’s wrong… no, no no no no?
“Don’t look into Pandora’s box children,” they said.
The average child hears 432 negative comments or no’s per day? This negative programming has an adverse impact on our adult psyche. How many times are you thinking or saying no to yourself and others a day? How many times a day is your internal dialogue limiting your potential through doubt and the words no or can’t. How many times a day are you not reaching higher because you’ve built a glass ceiling built on the word no? Each time we say or think no, we are building a confining box and a ceiling that is too low.
The same happens in the work place. We say the equivalent of no when we shut down other people’s ideas. We say, great idea, but! Have you ever heard that in a meeting? More importantly, have you ever said that in a meeting (and be honest with yourself)? We've all said it.
Negating or ignoring ideas that are shared and expressed stifles innovation. Further more, your team will become disengaged if their ideas are not heard, considered or entertained. They will shut off. Employees feel like insignificant pawns when their ideas are shut down, not considered or ignored. Don’t murder innovation before it’s had the chance to be planted and watered by saying, "Great idea... BUT!"
Invite and encourage idea sharing, debate and collaboration. Give your team a free pass to explore the secrets of Pandora's box. Invite them to more curious. Allow them to be tempted to explore and take risks. Have them dive into Pandora’s box with reckless abandon. Empower them to have fun with the content as your organization experiments, discovers and makes mistakes. Your employees must feel confident that mistakes will not be punished. This does not mean a free for all and chaos. It’s the simple fact that without risk and failure, there can no growth. The more you explore and “fail” the more you will learn. Eliminate the word or concepts of “no” and “can’t” in your board-rooms and your culture.
The Steve Jobs, the Henry Fords, the Elon Musks of this world are not limited by can’t and no. They are empowered by the mindset of yes, why not and let’s reach higher. They create cultures designed to say YES... AND. The phrase and mindset of yes and is the foundation of your lego-block approach to building the magnificent, the unthought of, the new and the different. The great innovators create cultures and organizations designed to disrupt the status quo. Cultures and mindsets inspired and empowered to disrupt the thought process.
Dare to disrupt your process and your culture. Disrupt your mindset. Be more childlike in your thinking. Dare to innovate and dream of the impossible.
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