Einstein gave us a perfect definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I remember thinking how great it would be if life gave us hindsight in advance. I know, that’s silly. No good learning would ever happen.
If there were foresight, though, about how and when a cycle of change begins, we would be dynamic, agile, stronger creatures. We’d ditch doing the same thing over and over because we’d know doing something new and different would lead to, well… something new and different.
It’s compelling that most organizations, with a bunch of minds working together, don’t have this foresight to embrace change and create a cultural shift when necessary. It’s a big shift and it challenges everyone within the group to act differently – not just the leadership – but companies still try to respond to a changing climate in the same way, expecting new and different results.
In the business world, the idea of culture mainly comes down to rituals or they way we do things. A culture holds great power over us and we usually choose to act in accordance, until we decide differently. But it’s a social intelligence that communicates silently and has deep roots.
For an easy example, we know that women think differently and have different capabilities than men. We also know that men have different capabilities than women. So how is it that we continue the practice of excluding women in leadership and cutting ourselves, and our greater cultures, off from half of the brainpower we need to become dynamic, agile, stronger creatures.
In her book, Sacred Success, Barbara Stanny quotes from a 2011 Wall Street Journal report that “profits at Fortune 500 firms that most aggressively promoted women are 34% higher than industry medians.”
She continues (and I agree), “Make no mistake. This is not men vs. women.” The complex interplay within an organizations’ culture cannot be so simplified, but this concept shows that embracing everyone within small groups or big countries sows higher rewards.
It’s about respect and value and strengths. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin-everything, says the best way forward is to give more people everywhere greater power.
When a culture demonstrates that the value of one brain is less than another, it will never be as great as it could be. It will leave to chance the opportunity to operate at its full potential.
So, let’s decide to think about the unique brilliance and skills of those around us right now.
Let’s create efficiencies and solve problems.
Let’s dismantle the ingrained thoughts and beliefs within an organization’s “legitimate” way of doing things.
This is the way to create function from dysfunction.
If we add momentum and pressure to this courtship instead of blocking it, we will save precious TIME – one of our culture’s most valuable resources.