Toast Note - 25 January 2018
I’ve been running back to back change resiliency sessions for one of the big teams at IAG. There is something about doing a workshop like that repeatedly in short order that makes me want to mix it up: new jokes, new ways of saying the same thing. I fear getting stale and then reducing the impact or engagement. Riffing a bit helps to keep me fresh, but also -- on very rare and special occasions – it triggers an unexpected new insight. Spears of light, singing voices, holy cow why hadn’t I thought of that thing in precisely that way before!
What this experience reminds me of most in terms of how my head and heart feels is what happens when you fall in love with someone AGAIN. Not the first time, but that feeling you can only get when you stick it out over the very long haul. You plug along day by day trusting the person by your side, loving them and wanting them with you, but honestly you are just partners, friends, companions. Then suddenly, BAM. You’re in love again. Starry eyed and stupid. BOOM. Sprinkles of happy dust and are-you-kidding-me-this-person-is-mine feelings.
Ideas do that to me. I can fall in love with an idea. I can even be faithful to it for a long time. I’ve managed a 3 decade monogamous relationship with both my husband AND behavioural economics. It can happen. Usually, however, I have a really short attention span, and so I move into a comfortable relationship with an idea rather quickly then I get bored and move on to the next one. I guess I’m an idea slut. Cheap, easy, quick and moving on. Those ideas that I have settled in for a long term relationship are the bedrock, though. They are the important ideas. Change curves and circles of control have been my change LTR since I got into this field. They are solid, easy to explain, feel true to virtually everyone. But to be fair, I’ve just been living with them for quite a while, picking up their shirts and chucking them in the laundry with a muttered curse but sticking with it because I know this is the right place to be and with the right idea.
But this week, I fell in love with those circles again. Turns out, there is another side to them I hadn’t thought of before, and I’m all sorts of crazy crushing on it. Don’t want to talk or think about anything else. The people in my life who work with me on change capability and resiliency are going to get the full meal deal pitch on this New Idea. It’ll either light them up as well or they will talk me down out of the clouds and tell me how I’m cheating on my old idea without consent. If the former, I promise I’ll share, but the details aren’t important right now. What’s striking for me is how it happens. What is the magic alchemy that makes it possible to look at the old and tired just one more time and have a completely new thought about it? When this new idea hits, it isn’t just… new. It’s exciting. It reignites passion and engagement, fascination and joy. I am literally buzzing.
If I could capture this in a bottle and sell it as “Innovation Juice” I’d be a bezillionaire. I can’t so what I recommend is to invest in looking at those LTR ideas over and over and over again, explaining them in a slightly different way each time. Don’t be afraid to challenge your assumptions. Allow yourself to be open to that moment when something strange ignites and opens you to new possibilities.
“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” ~ Albert Einstein