February 21, 2018

Archives for July 2014

If you realise you’re improvising…

Woman reflectingIt’s great to be resourceful in solving problems with what’s available.

But that ability carries a hidden danger…

We have the option of not dealing the with issue permanently.

If you realise you’re improvising the same solution to the same problem time and again, it could mean you’re bumping up against a limit in what you do. Some kind of constraint is making its presence felt.

That constraint could be limiting your achievements because you tend to avoid the circumstances where the issue arises.


It might be time to solve the problem properly.

For example…

Over many years, I worked around not having an A3 printer in my office. Eventually, I realised that, yes, I was managing without, but in fact I was constraining my business in certain ways by not having one.

What are you routinely improvising?

And does that suggest a constraint which might be worth removing?

If you use your authority, do you diminish your strength?

Meeting roomQuite often it’s appropriate, necessary even, to use whatever positional authority we have to get something done. Indeed we probably have a duty to do so.

But perhaps there is a cost…

Could be we use up some of the goodwill in the relationship and so our natural authority is a little bit diminished. We use up some of our strength.

A good idea, therefore, to work on the relationship whenever we can. That makes for natural authority, and builds our strength.

Then we can get things done because people want to do them rather than because we tell them to.

Obsessed with detail?

Mid sized audienceRunning events with large groups of people, attention to detail counts: Getting the room right, making sure the sound system is set up properly (often overlooked by venue owners), people’s individual needs are properly catered for, and a whole host of other factors are dealt with effectively.

To the uninitiated, the attention to detail can seem obsessive, but that’s what it takes. The organiser’s commitment needs to be stronger than the participants’ hesitation and scepticism, and sometimes some of the team’s reluctance to act.

It’s like that with change in organisations…

It takes obsessive attention to detail and commitment to powerful action to carry everyone along.

If being reasonable means accepting things as they are (like a sound system which doesn’t work very well or a company system that inhibits necessary change) sometimes we need to be unreasonable.

Why just being present results in natural leadership

Why just being present results in natural leadershipWhether to lead or to follow is sometimes a choice we need to make, or so it appears.

In fact, just being present may be the best option—not having need of the situation either way.

Connect that with something else and it all makes sense…

It’s often said that when intervening in a situation, it’s the inner state of the intervener which makes the difference, not so much what the say or do—much more who they are. In other words, we pay attention to highly “present” people.

And so obviously…

Those highly present people are the ones we are influenced by. The ones we follow, in fact—the leaders we look to.

Those who have let go of the need to lead or to follow are the real leaders.

If in doubt, build the community

Group in discussionFrequently we face complex problems and it may not be obvious how to solve them. We may need large numbers of people to collaborate to achieve a change in business as usual.

Even with sophisticated organisational techniques, it may not be clear at first what co-ordinated action is appropriate.

Sometimes, it’s best just to build the community around the issue, or create the circumstances where the community will build itself; where people will get together and decide their own action. Motivated people will take steps to improve a state of affairs of their own accord. Self-organisation can be more effective than we traditionally expect.

That action can be shaped later, if necessary.

In any long-term change effort, it’s the strength of the network which makes the difference.


If in doubt, build the community. Don’t worry too much about the direction.