What to do if you realize normal wasn’t working

Image thanks to Tony Prats via Pixabay

Have you heard Jessica Salfia’s poem, “The First Lines of Emails I’ve Received While Quarantining”? It talks about the “new normal”, and more. Truthfully, we’ve heard so many people say they are waiting to get back to normal. Or that they’re trying to normalize their business processes, “under the circumstances”. Or that they don’t have time to think about strategy right now, because they’re just treading water, or trying not to crack the thin veneer that’s separating them from the chaos. Does that sound familiar?

It makes us think. What if, or how might we? How might we use the crisis to knock on the door of an opportunity? How might we use our time differently, to make our businesses over into the kind of businesses we’ve wanted or deserved all along? Let’s face it, everyone is doing things they’ve never done. Learning, implementing, trying, failing, and trying again. So we’re asking you to consider this: create what we’ll call a One Team®. (If you’re a team of one, you might need to reach out and form a Mastermind group to be your One Team). That team’s job is to select one thing that everyone agreed before all this began, would make a massive difference to either your customers or your colleagues, if it could just be sorted out and implemented. Then give the team license to take one day a week to think about this, and only this. Really work on it. Come up with ideas. Test. Prototype stuff. Make drawings. Research. Ask questions. They get a buy on all video conferences for most of that day. Then at the end of that one day, they have only one online meeting to explain their one most important lesson learned, to offer one thing up that the rest of the company can use, and to make one ask that will carry them forward to their next step. Then you let them repeat this process until you can see the change they’ve made. Because they will. We’re sure of it.

I’m Megann Willson, and I’m one of the Partners here at PANOPTIKA. We work with our clients to help them to see everything they need to work on to make better decisions for their businesses. Find us on Twitter and Facebook, too. On Fridays, we send News You Can Use to our subscribers. You can become one by signing up with the orange button, below. 

Flatten the curve. Stay safe. Stay home. 

A gift for all seasons: curiosity

This blog was reposted in January, 2020

Curiosity killed the cat? Maybe, but it can make you more creative and innovative at work.

One of the best gifts you can bring to your work, whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been working in the same field for a very long time, is curiosity. Giving yourself permission to be curious can help you solve problems more creatively, demonstrate engagement to colleagues and customers, and keep your work interesting when others feel like their occupation is nothing but a grind.

So how can you stay curious? Here are just a few ideas to keep your curiosity active all the time:

  1. Ask the “how might we” question whenever you encounter a problem (or someone else brings one to the table). You’ll find ideas that move you toward solutions.
  2. Think about the “opposite game” you might have played as a kid – when you have a strong opinion, ask yourself what would have to change, for you to believe the opposite. Then use that to reframe your narrative in a way your opponent can better understand.
  3. Explore the “why” when you’re working on a process – why have we always done it this way? Why couldn’t that change? You’ll challenge your paradigms and open doors to fresh thinking.
  4. Be a reporter – when explaining an idea, imagine you’ll need to explain it to someone who knows nothing about the topic, and find ways to tell the story that includes all of the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where, why. (Bonus points for how!) The toughest parts to explain are where curiosity can help you learn the most.
  5. When meeting with customers, the words “show me” can help you understand how they use your product, what challenges they are encountering, or what’s delighting them about a competitor’s offering. 

We’re always curious – so if you need answers, we can help you ask the right questions, or we can work with your team to make sure their curiosity is always in excellent working order.

I’m Megann Willson, and I’m one of the partners here at PANOPTIKA. We work with clients like you, to help them see everything they need to know to build a better business, so they can find, keep, and know their best customers. For more content, you can follow us on social media like Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. We send a collection of curated content every Friday to our subscribers. There’s a button for that, below.