Let’s think about what we’ve never thought about

Those are the words a client of mine told one of his Lieutenants last week. His company is in crisis mode. Hard times are coming and in an effort to not lay off people, he’s giving them part-time.

He told me this last week in our meeting .

I was there to give a presentation about social media and how his industry might change because of it, and it ended up igniting this ‘we’re changing direction’ conversation afterwards!

I do have to say that when he said ‘let’s think about what we’re never thought about’, deep down, I felt really happy to hear that from someone other than myself. I think my client might have caught my micro-expression of the Grinch while he said those words:

grinch smile

Yes! Not in an evil sense, but in a ‘permission to shake things up’ way!

But, it’s a shame you have to hear a CEO say ‘Let’s think about what we’ve never thought about because we might not make it to the end of the year’ until a crisis hits an organization.

Part of our conversation also unearthed how this behavior had plagued his company for years. How they had been reacting to competitors moves during a span of 8 years and how this mindless behavior had cost them hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars! It’s cheap change compared to corporations but in any world that’s a lot of money!

Reflecting on the crisis at hand and seeing the same patterns from the past, my client essentially said:

We have to go on another direction. We have to make our own path.

Sometimes innovation starts with a critical decision to reinvent yourself and your business. A moment of truth.

When we talk about taking the time to reflect and ponder about the future, this is exactly what we mean one has to do. No just sit there and daydream, but to think about alternate realities. Realities where what you are doing today is completely different tomorrow. To go find the revolution before it finds you.

To help you see alternate realities, it’s important to bring in outsiders to be able to see familiar situations from a different perspective. As he sat there and said he was ready to go find the revolution but that had no clue where to start, I told him I recommend he read Disrupt by Luke Williams, which I reviewed a few months ago, before we start thinking about that.

And to stimulate his ‘disruptive state’ some more, I put this video on:

If you can imagine a 52 year old man with the energy of a 5 year old, that’s what I saw. Exciting times ahead!

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