Why are we expected to always DO something? Why is work generally perceived as something physical? Why is thinking dismissed as being idle? And, why is that weird perception so characteristic of Americans?
I can tell you from writing The Root Cause that thinking what to write was more exhausting than tapping my fingers on the key board in order to get my thoughts onto paper. Hence, change is much harder work than routine, because change requires a lot of thinking―analyses AND syntheses.
Similarly, instead of doing something, we should be doing nothing. I can tell you from training for the San Diego Rock-‘n-Roll marathon with Team ‘n Training the restorative power of doing nothing. Ten days before the run we were told to take it easy; no more running, training is over and so, if you don’t have to stand, sit down and put your feet up. The first time I ran again was at the start of the marathon and I felt rejuvenated.
Have you ever experienced how your best ideas come to you when you are relaxed? When you are taking a stroll on the beach or play with your child(ren). It is only then, when your mind is empty that new ideas and thoughts can enter, making you wonder from where those ideas and thoughts came.
Thinking, and thus creative thought, can be facilitated by following certain thought patterns, which tend to be iterative as opposed to sequential. In other words, you won’t get it right immediately. Imagine exploring such thought patterns with others, who have different experiences, analogues, personality traits, interests, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Imagine bouncing ideas of each other until someone takes it and runs with it. I develop and use such thought patterns in problem solving and change management. You wouldn’t believe how that practice can turn around a completely polarized situation between two departments within an hour’s time. Imagine the creativity and fun you’d experience.
You’d be equally surprised how well you can actually define a change project involving Information Technology or some other form of engineering without being an IT specialist or an engineer. You may ask “How is that possible?” Well, change management projects are defined by WHAT and WHY, and the material experts will take that information to figure out HOW to accomplish their assignment. Imagine how engineers will define your project when you fail to define the WHAT and WHY of your change initiative, and basically give them free reign?
By the same token, you can use thought patterns to assess the duration and impact of a change initiative―which business processes and departments are involved and how long will the project take till completion.
You may ask “Why should I care” about or “Why should I bother” with those thought processes and patterns? Well, because:
- You will have to manage expectations of all involved, including the project’s duration and budget.
- Rubbish in―rubbish out.
- Third party providers tell their consultants (the outside experts you hire) to stay as long as possible and to learn as much as possible.
If such thought processes and patterns are of interest to you, I’d be honored and happy to facilitate a session or workshop just for you.