You’ve probably heard me mention the analogy between an insect by a window pane and improvement work. It usually pops up for me at this time of year.
Imagine you are sitting at the kitchen table. The buzz, buzz, buzz is constantly interspersed with thump, thump, thump. You hear the little body bouncing against the glass. Over and over again. As some kind of frustration builds up in the little insect, the buzzing and thumping become more frequent.
You think you should be nice and let the flies out, so you open the ventilation window on the side. So, now fresh air is coming in and there is a way out.
But will the flies take the chance? Not at all. There are only four centimeters between the large window and the small, open window. But they refuse to take a chance on getting over the sill that separates the windows.
It crawls onto the window sill, but it obviously feels unsafe and probably leads nowhere. So it is better to go back to the safe window instead.
I see similar things over and over again when I talk to different businesses. I see it at conferences I attend, both online and in person. We can read about it in the newspapers.
There is talk of municipalities having financial difficulties. Or that the regions will lose money. Companies have been working on processes for decades, but further discussion reveals that it has not solved many of the problems they have had for so long.
– Hello! The solution is there, four centimeters to the right of the road you’re stuck on.
Nothing is completely free, it takes something to win something. Just like the fly that does not dare and/or understand that it has to let go of its focus on what it sees through the window and climb over the window frame to reach out, many organizations do not understand that they actually need to think differently and also invest in order to get better.
– Yes, they put a lot of money and energy into making things better, someone might object.
– Absolutely, I say. It’s just that the energy and money invested is similar to the increased frequency of bouncing off the glass.
You do more of the same. The line organization is being reorganized in the hope that things will now improve. Even more temporary workers are hired to solve the staffing problem. You buy another IT support similar to the others you already have. They think that just by allocating even more money it will all work out.
The answer is that it does not. This is why we see that the same issue keeps recurring, year after year. Moreover, in many places it only gets worse over time. But like the fly, you keep struggling to somehow get through the window with the same work you’ve already tried.
I’m sure you can give plenty of examples where the above is reflected in your or others’ activities.
Something else is needed. As I usually teach; you need to think new, think bold, think different.
Only then will the problems and challenges that have been there for so long be resolved. And why not listen to someone who has seen it happen in other places? Someone who knows which method needs to be used and which lines of thought may need to be considered.
Want to learn more about leading change? In the fall, we will open up the Successful Change Management course. You will learn more about how to successfully create a culture of continuous improvement.
You can already register your interest in the course. This is not a binding registration, but just to ensure that you receive more information as the event approaches. Then you can decide at your leisure whether you want to participate or not. Click on the link HERE to find out more about the course and to register your interest.
Have a nice summer. You may find time to think about how you and your team can think differently to get through the “glass window” in front of you. Tip: The window is open some distance from you.