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Create Bigger & Better Balls

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One thing that has been sidelined since the economic crisis of 2008 is limited encouragement for our enormous creative talent to innovate, invent and create. Oh sure, people are working harder, longer with more output. But are we keeping the ball rolling or are we creating bigger and better balls? I fear we are merely keeping the balls rolling.

Not a bad thing at all. It’s just not a growth model for organizations or people.

I love the article Courage in the C-Suite in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review. The author Rosabeth Moss Kanterwrites that what we’re missing is courage.  “Doing nothing seems easy. It’s often an invisible mistake—a sin of omission rather than commission. To act requires courage.” Many organizations have become accustomed to not hiring, maintaining the status quo as a response to not having any idea how to navigate the seismic change that has occurred since the onset of the economic crisis.  The effect on their people is a culture where everyone’s preserving balance, not rocking the boat and keeping all those balls rolling.

But you can only go for so long maintaining. Eventually you have to move ahead, grow, try new things in order to remain relevant and vital. This goes for people and organizations.

This is where Ms. Kanter’s article is right on. It is going to take thousands of acts of courage from all levels of the organization to restart growth.

How do you step out when you’re relieved to have a job? How do you act courageously when you’re worried and insecure?

You do not answer this call to action by going off half-cocked because courage doesn’t imply blindly acting. Instead what it means is assessing how you are staying safe. Then challenge your self to seek ways you could add value by solving a problem in an out-of-the-box way. Envision some way the company or organization could move forward, the business could grow, a system could be changed to improve productivity – you get the idea. Then do the due diligence necessary to insure the risks are well informed, get by in from mentors and bosses and test market your idea with colleagues.

Finally act courageously, step out there and create bigger & better balls.

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