C for Challenge, Creative and Could

Neil ButlerUntypical Thoughts

Three words today … let’s deal with them one at a time.

Firstly, challenge. Fair to say that we are all facing a massive challenge in moving our businesses forward at the moment. Things aren’t like they were six or twelve months ago and we are all very much in uncharted waters.

There is a clear choice to make today – do you rise to the challenge or do you simply put it in the “too hard” basket and wait for someone else to lead the way.

I spoke yesterday of greatness. Most often, greatness is seen when challenges are overcome – the bigger the challenge, the greater the effort required to overcome it. There has not been a global challenge of this magnitude in our lifetime and hopefully, there won’t be another. How are you going to respond to the challenge – positively, energetically and innovatively or meekly, timidly and pessimistically? Make your choice and take action now.

Then there is creative. Times like these demand creativity. Before our world was so dramatically disrupted, we often turned to tried and true methodologies, protocols and programs because we knew they would work. The more risk averse the organisation, the less creative and innovative the activity.

Tried and true solutions used to work when we had similar experiences to measure them against. But we have no experience in a post-COVID world. The traditional model of looking to those who have the most experience in an organisation or industry sector to lead us forward is unlikely to be the most successful approach anymore. We now need to look for people with creative ideas. Innovative thinking. Dare I say it, an untypical approach.

Too often I have seen organisations stifling creative ideas in the name of risk management. Now is the time to change that – now is the time to foster and encourage creativity within your organisation.

Which leads us to our third C – could.

A couple of weeks ago, I discussed the frustration that I feel when I hear organisations using the word “should” – we “should” do this, we “should” do that.

We have already talked about creativity and before we get to the end of this series, we’ll talk about innovation and imagination. This is where business would benefit by focusing their attention right now – what could we doing? How could we improve our products and services? What could we achieve if we put our minds to it? “Could” is so much more powerful than “should”.

Next time you are tempted to use the word “should” in a sentence, stop and check whether the word “could” might be a better choice. You never know what might come out of THAT conversation!

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