I agree convention has its place, and I'm not saying it hasn't. I'm also not saying that I don't use my fair share of conventional tools. I'm just wanting to sell the benefits of straying away from that safe and known feeling, and moving to the unknown.
When I heard Chris Hadfield speak earlier in the year I wrote a blog entitled "the sky is not the limit".
"On that day in November 1962 when I was born "the goal to go to the moon was not just hard, it was impossible". In fact, on the morning of July 20 1969, as Chris reminded us "you still couldn't land on the moon.""
I suspect that the achievement of landing on the moon required some unconventional thinking, some unconventional acting and even some unconventional being.
Getting to the moon was never going to be achieved by doing what they'd been doing up to that point. That is, all the reasons they'd not got to the moon in the early 60s were never going to disappear by sticking with the same thinking. They had to think outside the box, and try things that hadn't been done to achieve the impossible goal they'd been given.
Perhaps that's the clue - when things start to feel impossible its time to turn to the unconventional.
I can certainly see 'thinking something is impossible' is a common thread with the many clients I've helped in the last 17 years - whether personally, departmentally or organisationally.
Here's an index sharing posts written since March 2017 using these unconventional tools to provide a different perspective to specific challenges identified by connections on LinkedIn.
Since I started using the unconventional tools they have been used to address one or more of the following challenges (hypertext links take you to blogs written demonstrating examples of applying an unconventional tool to that very challenge):
- Our goals are impossible, and deadlines are too!
- We have no idea what to do next
- Listening to the musts, oughts and shoulds of business
- We have tried everything, and nothing is working
- What's being measured is driving the wrong behaviour
- They're resisting our recommendations
- It's just how the economy is at the moment - the market is getting difficult - it's no wonder we're getting no where
- They're just not listening to us
- They don't understand us
- We don't understand them
- We need to build bridges not demolish them
- We can't achieve perfection
- We're stuck
- We feel like we're up a creek without a paddle
- It's as if they're talking a different language
- Yep we've given up, and have started to believe "that's just the way business is"
- Some of us are feeling lost
- Others feel like they're a fish out of water
- We're looking for the solutions and its answers we need (a great example of our words impacting our ability to solve a problem)
- It's a problem (the problem may be that describing it as a problem is the problem! or might be found in discovering how to make it even more of a problem)
- We keep getting the same outcome despite trying different approaches
- A few of us have a sense of deja vu, that we're simply going around in circles
- We've been accused of being on auto pilot (and so simple to resolve - see link for more)
- What we're doing isn't working
- We don't know what to do
- We can't see the wood for the trees
- Some of us are getting more and more demotivated, or are even considering leaving the team
- Others are getting stressed
- But hey - no pain no gain
Over the years I've progressively added more and more unconventional tools to my coaching toolkit to help with this 'unsticking/unblocking'. Focusing on tools that are great at unlocking the situation when one or a number of the above criteria are met.
The tools I use also have another common denominator. They're also great at supporting people in finding the solutions for themselves. That is, the tools just help individuals to bypass what ever is holding them back, to tap into their inner potential, which in turn enables them to identify the potential solutions for themselves.
You'll find more about the different types of tools I use by following the hypertext link. I'll be sharing some examples here on the blog over the next few weeks - so watch this space. If you have a specific challenge you'd like to understand how an unconventional tool might work with why not read this post and get involved.
My plea is to stay open to using unconventional tools, give them the benefit of the doubt, and if you or team are facing any of the above criteria, or simply need a different perspective please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org +44(0)7770 538159.
The Purchasing Coach
Unlocking personal, procurement and organisational potential using unconventional tools