Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fight Through the FUNK

It makes things a whole lot easier when you realize that everybody has FUNK.

When you want to try something new, to get out of those patterned routines that you follow – there are a few pitfalls to avoid making it easier to fight through the FUNK.

The first is trying to solve today’s problems yesterday’s solutions. Yesterday’s solutions work until they don’t work anymore. When you want something new… yesterday’s solutions aren’t going to work for you.

The second is viewing mistakes as failures. When you’re in that box and you decide to try something new, chances are real good that the first time out it’s not going to work exactly as you had planned. If every mistake is viewed as a failure how often will you even try to break through that funk to try something new?

Things are changing faster and faster every day, and there’s no slowing in sight. The bottom line – you can either lead the change or be collateral damage as the change rolls over you.

You can’t expect yourself or other people to be great without making mistakes. In fact, failure should be expected. It's been said, if you never fail, you are not trying hard enough.

The key to success in the face of change is to identify failure as quickly as possible. Fast failure is acceptable; slow failure is not. Failing quickly means finding a successful alternative quickly, before the failure causes too much damage. In most cases you can find another approach, another process, another solution that will work.

This requires two standard rules of practice. The first is to accept mistakes and failure as part of the process. If you get upset every time you are given bad news, then bad news will not be delivered to you. It is critical that you understand why failure occurred. You must be willing to discuss what went wrong and what could have been done better.

The second is to encourage creative, outside-the-lines thinking, at all times. Some people believe that you are born creative, or not. However, new thinking habits can be nurtured and developed in yourself and others.

When there is failure, embrace it. Get creative. Creativity is experimenting, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.

The last pitfall to avoid to fight through the FUNK is an intolerance for risk.

When you try something new, there’s always a risk involved. When you get out of the patterns of “that’s how we’ve always done it here,” there’s a risk.

To make it easier to take those risks, you need to be really clear on what it is you want, and what the outcome is you’re looking for.

When you stay in the box because of FUNK, everything will look the exact same way, the same patterns, and same routines.

Here's a quick activity to help you identify and break through your FUNK. You can do it anywhere, all you need is a piece of paper, or even a napkin and a pen. Create three columns on your paper and at the top of the left column write STOP, at the top of the middle column write START, and at the top of the right column write CONTINUE.

Now in the respective column identify:
  • Things I’m currently doing that are not working and I should STOP doing them.
  • Things that would be beneficial for me to START doing.
  • Things I am currently doing well that I should CONTINUE doing.
Outside the box is where new things happen. Until you can fight through the FUNK and get to the other side, you’ll keep getting the same old thing. Things will be changing outside the box – but you’ll just be doing the same old things.

And remember… change is inevitable, but growth is optional.

More articles on thinking differently to achieve uncommon results:
 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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