Friday, May 25, 2007

Systemic Change

By nature I am a restless person, never really satisfied somehow. I'm sure I drive people crazy at work - when asking the question "how can we do it differently" there's an implicit criticism that somehow the way we do things now isn't good enough. And I have noticed that as a rule people don't like criticism.

That’s why I love this Hugh McLeod cartoon

I didn’t really have a name for my permanent state of dissatisfaction until I met Steve Harrison years ago. He calls it systemic change – change in the whole system, change that sticks. His simple but effective starting point is “why do we accept the concept of high performance teams in sport, yet in business we are all too often happy with good enough?”. So he reasons what can we learn from coaching in sport?

Coaching high-performance teams means recognising and celebrating how far a team has come, then moving on to help them do even better. It’s about being never-satisfied with current performance. The day you’re satisfied is the day you retire. Or as Hugh puts it in his own inimitable way "If you can't re-invent yourself, you might as well be dead".

BTW Steve has some fantastic exercises for showing how this works – but I’m afraid you’ll have to hire him to experience them!

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