The late great Peter Drucker said that if you wanted something new, you had to stop doing something old.
Not everyone celebrates Easter and the octave of renewal that goes with it, but many cultures do herald the arrival of spring as a time to renew, refresh, rejuvenate, and set new plans for growth. However all these new plans and ideas do have a way of piling up – and how do you choose which ones to tackle first? It’s difficult to resist the urge to try and simply layer the old on top of what we’re already doing. Or simply revert to the old way, because there doesn’t seem to be room for new right now. Old feels comfortable. Old feels familiar. We know how Old works. So how to break out of old and take Drucker’s advice, in order to embrace the new?
Not finding a place for that great new idea in your organization? Repeat after us: “Trying something new just isn’t a priority for [me/our company/our team]”. Feel good saying that? We thought not. So how do you prioritize? In our office and with our clients, we like to use metaphor-based games like Innovation Games ® to get to the root of problems like these. This isn’t a single-stage process, but here are the steps we like to use:
1. Set the goal for where you’d like to be at a specific time in the future (remember, be SMART – specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound).
2. Determine the activities you’ll have to do to get there.
3. If any of these are new activities, figure out where they will put a stress and strain on you, your team, or your company in terms of resources.
4. Are there any current activities that aren’t getting you to the new objective, and, if you dropped them, would free the resources you need?
5. If so, start there. (Prioritizing on a matrix of which are easiest versus costliest to stop will help).
What are you waiting for? Even here in Atlantic Canada, the thaw has begun. Get a spring in your step, drop something old, and embrace the new.
Megann and Steve