Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Growth through challenges

One of the most enjoyable activities for me whether it is with my colleagues at Innovations or on the soccer field with my son's team is growth through challenges.   One of the most satisfying experiences whether it is for me personally, or watching someone else, is to achieve something that I did not believe possible a week earlier, a month earlier or a year earlier.

With soccer, it always because you make something more difficult--you were able to keep the ball in the air 4 times...how about 5, or 6....or with your left foot, etc.  In business, it seems that competition and technology are what changes the conditions for us all of the time--you deliver your content in one day, but I want it in 4 hours instead.  Or in the form of a webinar....or in an on demand web based program.  With of course the same results.

Speaking for myself, most of the time I enjoy the process...it is the challenge that keeps me excited.  Every now and then I certainly wish I could take a bit of a break...but the pace of change does not allow us that luxury.  That is why it is so important to also surround yourself with people who embrace change, so that they will push you when you have those moments where you may desire a mental break.   And those people can be inside your business, or outside.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Why don't we want to look within?

Recently, I have had discussions with some customers who have said that they were interested in a significant change in results, but only want to spend time on behaviors.  I truly wrestle with this one, as it is has been a long held principle of the work we do at Innovations that behavior change is necessary but not sufficient for long term impact.   For that, we have always come from the perspective that to have significant impact, we need to look at our beliefs, attitudes and mindset first, then move to behaviors.   On a number of occasions, clients have told us that they agree with our model, but they do not believe that their employees are interested in personal reflection.

I believe that people do in fact look for personal growth--as students, they may take on a challenging internship or spend a year abroad.  As adults, we learn new sports, start businesses, take on new hobbies, quit smoking--all activities which at some point will take us our of out traditional comfort zone.   I know it is difficult sometimes to do, but once you take that step, it is truly refreshing and invigorating and opens up new avenues that previously did not exist.   Ultimately, if we want to grow as leaders, become more creative, or truly create inclusion, looking within is our beginning point.

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