Two weeks ago, I urged you to consider adventure. Jumping the life cycle curves from current safety onto a much less certain path to greatness.
But, in order to carry your organization along with you, you’ve got to do something else first. You must release them to be astronauts, too. Break the bonds that hold them back. Which, in most organizations, is a considerable task.
So, how do you incite widespread passion for adventure? It usually means killing at least a part of your culture.
The target is our legacy concepts of structure and control anchored in beliefs that people aren’t smart enough or motivated enough to do what’s best for the business on their own. Which reward conservatism and wipe out appetites for adventure. They yield organizations that never imagine embarking on a “man on the moon” kind of initiative. But rather, hide behind the rock wall at the moments of truth. And because it’s the predominant sense it in those organizations, they seldom give anything heroic a try.
How to break out, and create a culture that vibrates with guts and verve? It’s not too hard nor does it take very long. If, you personally, have got the guts and verve to make it happen.
Because it all depends on you. Your willingness to cut the cords of your own safety chute. Your willingness to take risks and support others who do it with you.
Both when they’re right and wrong.
Best place to start? With something seen as risky, but with low potential for damage. That depends entirely upon you.
Let people know what you’re about to try. That you’re not certain of the result. And hopefully, you won’t be entirely successful. Then ask for help in understanding what went wrong. And try again. Hopefully, with success. If not recalibrate the objective. Repeat the sequence a few times. Then start encouraging a few others to do likewise. Returning the courtesy when they fail.
This process kills the “do it right, or you’re in trouble” part of your culture fast. And when it’s gone, you’re ready to jump. With confidence that they’ll be behind you.