Letting go is key to innovation and change. Perry Timms shares powerful stories of innovating enterprises that will leave you enthusiastically letting go of what’s blocking your route to innovation.
Work can be Brilliant
Perry believes that by breaking traditions we can create a happier, more productive workforce. Doing this through an ongoing, iterative process will make more progress than any restructure could hope to achieve. By creating working methods that help individuals to discover and use their talents in the workplace, we can create a more fulfilled and fair society.
“Doubt is not a very agreeable status, but certainty is a ridiculous one”
There’s a long list of defunct apps, services and tools that had an absolutely single-minded proposition that was “known” to be useful at the time. They were flawed ultimately, not because of a poor product, but by an inability to let go of that certainty. To be successful you need to let go of the idea of certainty and become comfortable working in ambiguity.
How you can use the Theory U to Drive Innovation in Your People and Product
Developed by Otto Scharmer at MIT, this theory attempts to explain a state of mind which successful teams can adopt to become more innovative in complex situations. Rather than being a slavish process to be followed, the model proposes that you move back and forward through various situations. This helps to make the most of people as a dynamic resource.
The first step is to let go of preconceptions. These are the shortcuts that all our brains use. In many situations they are useful, but for innovation they can be an early stumbling block. By getting some external stimulus and opening our minds, we can move out of this state. After this stage, we have to listen to our own gut feeling – which is just as important as the data that any analytics tool can provide.
We then need to become attuned to the environment in which we’re operating and let some of that external situation come to us. After this stage, evaluate all the options, decide on the route and own it.
Letting go of Traditional Models of Leadership
There are numerous examples of companies which have let go of the command and control model of leadership and seen great success. Whether you’re in a design agency that’s setting up an agile coaching stream or a nursing care provider that is giving its individual teams complete control over decision making, by letting go you can come up with new solutions.
Letting go of Assets, Investments and Pipeline Models
This model doesn’t just apply to existing companies, it can apply to entire business models and sectors. Companies such as Lyft, Indiegogo, Etsy or Coursera have built their products entirely on other people’s services. They don’t own any part of their supply chain, but they are still creating value for service users and sellers.
Find What Makes you Come Alive
The only thing that you can truly control is how you approach your work. Create an organisation, product or team which helps you and everyone around you to be the best version of themselves.