The struggling bumblebee
I sit and look out the window in the kitchen. It is a beautiful summer day with both heat and sun. There is a recurring thump against the kitchen window. The bumblebee is beautifully striped and clearly has a lot of energy. It looks through the window where it wants to, but it doesn’t get there.
I get up and open a side window to let the bumblebee out. But the bumblebee doesn’t want to be helped. It just thumps against the glass over and over again. I want to help the bumblebee by gently guiding it towards the open window, but the bumblebee refuses. It doesn’t understand what the big blob at the kitchen table wants with the paper in its hand.
Just as we are about to cross from one window, the one that cannot be opened, to the other window that I have just opened, the bumblebee sees that the image of the green garden is disappearing. It does so for a while as it passes the window frame between the windows.
“Better hurry back to where I see the garden”, the bumblebee must think. Too quickly and swiftly it “jumps” over my hand and flies back. Just five centimetres from freedom.
There it continues to seek freedom in the garden, not knowing that this is the wrong way to achieve what it wants.
I think you recognize yourself?
Businesses do like the bumblebee
Unfortunately, many businesses act like the bumblebee in my kitchen window when it comes to improvement efforts. They think they have the right method to develop and improve, but it doesn’t get them anywhere. They dream about how good it could be (the garden) but they don’t see that the method is wrong (bouncing against the window).
They don’t see that it will never work. They believe that if you just put in a little more, you will succeed.
They mistake activity for progress. Like the bumblebee, it puts a lot of energy into developing and improving. But unfortunately they are only a waste of resources and broken hopes.
Like the bumblebee, you don’t get much closer to the goal, and after a while you lose your nerve. Perhaps, like the bumblebee, the work of improvement will soon be on its back with its legs in the air.
So how do you get ahead? It is crucial to think differently and to create a different view of the business. This is true both when we want to make improvements in ourselves as individuals, but also when we want to do so with our businesses.
First, you need to understand that you cannot solve problems and challenges with the same thought patterns that created the problems and challenges.
Furthermore, if you have been working for a long time on an improvement project but do not feel that you are making progress, you need to change your mindset. You can’t expect a different result if you always do what you’ve always done.
To get support in changing your mindset, it may be worth talking to someone outside the organisation, preferably someone who has experience of improvement work. This person can then be the necessary sounding board to help you move forward in your thoughts.
In addition, many times once you tell and explain to someone about the situation and your approach to getting on with it, you come up with good ideas yourself. It is as if the narration itself releases one’s own thoughts that are otherwise stuck in and focused on the problem area.
What do you have that you want to get on with?
An extended period of time off is a good opportunity to get past the things that have been blocking you during the rest of the year. That’s when you can take the time to actually sit down and think.
What do you have that would make you and your business take a real step forward and up to be better?
Who would be the person with whom you could share your thoughts? A former colleague, a fellow student, a colleague in another part of the organisation? Remember, it’s good to have that outside view that can give you new insights.
If there’s anything I can do to help you, you know it’s just to pick up the phone or email me. With no obligation on your part. If I can help, I’d be happy to. You can reach me at 070-528 52 61 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, I wish you a great summer. And you; help the bumblebees in your window to get back into the garden. Insects are needed for our world. 🙂