GO OUT! Leave your office now! Look and listen! Talk to people, ask silly questions. Leave the driving seat and sit in the back of the bus and enjoy or not. And think about why, why, why. Just use your eyes and ears and think and feel.
The comfort of mental and emotional constructs and models distorts the view on what really happens. Models and ideas help to understand the world around us. That is great but the danger of distortion looms. And a distorted view is not a source for beauty, on the contrary.
A fresh perspective on reality, proofs a better source for success. A real perspective is for better and for worse, because there are nice and not so nice things to see and both matter. In organisational life there are many obstacles that block our view and experience of that reality. Layers in the hierarchy, over-optimism in the numbers of the future, high level and abstract requirements for market innovation, aggregated customer satisfaction survey outcomes, organisation charts, averages in employee’s satisfaction surveys (are you 7,7 or 7,6 happy?), indicators on service levels, all do not really help. There are endless lists of formalized views. These blockages need to be surpassed from time to time. Walk the talk with customers, visit a city, the streets and the houses, look how people spend their holidays, really, go back to the work floor and answer the phone, repair a car or wash a patient. Become a customer, an employee, a passer-by, a user, a supplier. And see what happens, look for what really happens, what really matters. Ask yourself the question: ‘what do I see?’ and ask it again, and again and again. New pictures will emerge.
The value of these new pictures is twofold. Firstly, the fresh views will help to solve problems and provide ideas on all aspects of your organisation and what it produces. The value and the essence of what your organisation stands for, becomes more obvious and more truthful. Secondly there is never an excuse to for shortsightedness, because it so simple to overcome it.
Any organisation with practices that makes it somehow inevitable to keep looking at the real reality, will find a source of endless ideas. That is not only beautiful and worthwhile in itself, but the design of such an organisation will also honor honesty and will be by definition good and beautiful.
A distorted view or real reality?