Change or Be Changed

We all prefer “changing” to “being changed.” I had that driven home again leading a discussion with the GRIT. A terrific discussion around innovation showed once again that effective engagement produces good ideas and great energy.

I was privileged to lead the Grass Roots Innovation Team (GRIT) this week. GRIT is a group formed within 3M to preserve innovation within the company during difficult times. Now, we share ideas on how to innovate and make each other more effective. This week, we discussed two ideas from past writings: Innovation’s Slow, Painful Death and The Power and Danger of the Bell Shaped Curve. Both topics discuss the way we can stifle innovation by taking the wrong approach.

DiscussionThe ideas struck a nerve with the group and started a spirited discussion. Everyone had an opinion or another view of the issue. The synergistic discussion produced better ideas than any one of us had on our own and released incredible energy from the group. Everyone left ready to face their afternoon – armed with new spirit to that they could tackle anything they faced.

It showed me that given a good game and a fair shot, everyone wants to play. It’s our job as change leaders to engage people in creating the system that produces the outcomes we want. It’s also our job to support each other while we’re working within that system. We all know that even the best plans run into difficult stretches, requiring everyone’s best efforts. Finally, the focus should be on winning. Great planning, engagement, and hard work are only sustainable when we regularly reach our objectives…and win!!

Creating meaningful change is one of the most difficult pursuits in the world. It only happens under the right conditions and with the proper leadership. Pulling everyone in, letting them become part of the process, and turning them loose can create incredible results!


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August 2010
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