Thursday, October 15, 2015

Begin Your Change Imaginations...

While prepping content recently for a strategic planning retreat with a client, I stumbled upon the story that you’ll read below.

As tears filled my eyes and threatened to overflow, I was reminded of how our thought process and frame of reference determine what we believe to be true… whether it is true or not.

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.

The doctor explained the situation to her older brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes… I’ll do it. If it will save her.”
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek.

Then the little boy’s face grew pale as he watched his sister, and his smile began to fade. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

You see, his 5-year-old thought process framed what he believed to be true… he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Perception of reality is everything.

So the question is… What are you believing to be true, that in fact may not be based in truth? Is it time to think differently? Is there a fear that is holding you back? Are there uncertainties that are clouding your thinking process?
There are endless possibilities for real change and growth in your business or organization, or with your work team or family.

Think about how you currently do any of the following:
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Spend money
  • Plan family meals
  • Schedule exercise or active time
  • Market your product or services
  • Brand yourself through customer service
  • Lead strategic planning
  • Enhance team morale
Pick just one and now close your eyes or just sit quietly and imagine changes you would like to see. Imagine there are no obstacles and you are guaranteed that your ideas will succeed. Let your creativity go. Imagine BIG changes as well as little changes.

Begin your change imaginations with phrases such as:
  • I wonder …
  • What if ...
  • Imagine if we could …
I wonder … what strategic planning would look like this year if we took it off site, to someplace casual and relaxed, and hired a facilitator to come in to lead the process. Someone who knows how to motivate and inspire, as well as teach leaders and managers how to communicate to every employee in the organization, so that all have a core comprehension of how individual job performance affects successful execution of the plan.

What if … you started a dinner co-op with two or three other families in your neighborhood? Each member of the co-op is responsible for one night's meal for all the families in the group. Keep track of who is cooking what, and when. A meal typically consists of a main course and two sides, and is dropped off at each member's house just before dinner so there is enough time to reheat it.

Imagine if we could … truly create a culture of innovation. In this culture, employees make better decisions, begin to identify improvement opportunities, start to question the status quo and become a vital component of ongoing strategy discussion.

If your thoughts are big enough, you will not know how you will achieve it all when you start. The “how” is not important right now, only the “what.”
BIG thoughts should be unreasonable, if not, you are not thinking big enough. When you think big enough it will challenge you and scare you at the same time.

Please feel free to share your comments and ideas below.

More articles on thinking differently and strategic design:
About the Author: Monica Cornetti
Founder and CEO, Sententia

A gamification speaker and designer, Monica Cornetti is rated as a #1 Gamification Guru in the World by UK-Based Leaderboarded. She is the author of the book Totally Awesome Training Activity Guide: Put Gamification to Work for You, writes The Gamification Report blog, and hosts the weekly Gamification Talk Radio program. 

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