October 18, 2017

Are you holding process or outcome?

Audience of professional peopleIt’s worth being clear…

With a group of people engaged in change, is your commitment to a process or to a specific outcome?

If you feel you need to achieve a certain outcome, then fair enough, go for it to the best of your ability: Make your best case; listen well; trade off to get a result you can work with.

If, on the other hand…

You want to see a result emerge, but you’re not wedded to any particular one (within reason, let’s say), then commit to run a process; to hold space for something to emerge.

The outcome may then surprise everybody, including you.

And there may be more chance of it actually being implemented.

So…

Process or outcome? Which are you holding?

The person in front of you

Woman making an emphatic pointWe come up with all sorts of elaborate ways to engage with our world, but really whatever you are working on, however big or small, it almost always comes down to this…

…relating effectively to the person in front of you.

Even a group situation is a set of one-to-one relationships.

And so…

Person-to-person is really where the leverage is.

And the return on investment of learning effort, for that matter.

You’ve probably done the rest after all.

As Seth Godin so aptly put it recently…

“Organizations that do nothing but measure the numbers rarely create breakthroughs. Merely better numbers.”

This, of course, is why relationship skills are so worth working on, in my opinion, and why some key insights can make immediate and dramatic differences.

How much of your outcome is determined by your ability to relate to the person in front of you, do you think?

The importance of a specific goal, and a small step towards it

Mark BeaumontHe travelled 18,297 miles round the world on a bicycle and beat his target of 195 days by 8 hours. His target was in reality an arbitrary estimate based on 100 miles per day with an allowance for unforeseen difficulties. In so doing, he smashed the previous world record of 276 days by 81 days.

As adventurer Mark Beaumont said himself, there’s something to learn about the importance of setting a specific goal.

We might also infer something about the merit of focusing on your outcome rather than the “competition.”

Mark had more to say about having the right mindset, specifically focusing on short-term goals every day, like finding the right food and a suitable place to camp. The words of Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching seem to fit…

Take on difficulties while they are still easy;
Do great things while they are still small
The sage does not attempt anything very big,
And thus achieves greatness.