Have you ever felt that you had to work really hard just to stay in the same place? Like a duck swimming in a current. Above water looking effortless and somewhat nonchalant. Underneath the water paddling like your life depended on it.
I see many organisations feeling this especially now. We’ve never been able to predict the future, but now the only certainty is uncertainty.
There is a need to think differently about how to solve some of the problems that we are facing. In uncertain times I believe that there is even greater need to work in collaboration with businesses, local communities, entrepreneurs and charity partners to achieve our shared objectives.
What road do we take?
“Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”
The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”
Perhaps it’s just as well that we are all paddling really hard and staying still, because in our experience many organisations are not entirely sure about where they are going. Or in some instances some teams and departments are clear on where they are going, while others are just paddling and others are heading in a completely different direction.
The end result is that we all feel like the Mad Hatter (not good).
The first questions we ask when working with clients are, ‘Where do you want to go?’ and ‘What does success look like?’ It should be a basic question but the Alice in Wonderland quotes really chimed with us because often people and organisations don’t know where they are going, or different departments have different ideas about what the final destination (i.e. success) is.
It’s all very well for Alice. We can’t just disappear down a rabbit hole and eat cake and turn up again later and hope everything will be alright.
If any of the Alice quotes resonate with you, our advice is;
- Stop running (or paddling) – Take time to think about where you are going. This is really difficult, you might drift backwards briefly, but it will make for better results in the medium to long-term.
- Go back to basics – reassess what you are there to do. What is your core purpose? Stop doing anything that is not helping you to achieve it.
- Involve your team – make sure they understand their core purpose and they also reevaluate anything else that are doing that is not helping them achieve it.
- Check with your management team that you are not running in conflicting directions. And if you are – stand still. Regroup. Work through the difficulties. Start off again, this time all in the same direction.
And if you’d like some help with focusing on success then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.