Explorers, Big Red Car?
Big Red Car here. Bit cloudy in the ATX but it is still On Earth As It Is In Texas!
So, The Boss is talking to a CEO about his approach to managing change and growing his company.
The Boss says, “Think of yourself as an explorer.”
The CEO sayeth, “WTF are you talking about?”
Managing change, a trick
The Boss has taught many a CEO to manage change within an organization before the team has a chance to react to the proposition by making the following simple ploy:
“I’ve given this a lot of thought, taken your views into consideration, and I think it makes sense to try this experiment. It’s just an experiment and if it doesn’t work, we can walk it backwards. An experiment.”
Anyone who opposes the “experiment” has the added burden of being both against the change and against the concept of change and against the idea of conducting a live fire experiment.
You have to do all the same planning and communication but now you have lowered the threshold and made the decision about an experiment rather than the change itself. Who doesn’t love an experiment?
The outcome is the same — if it works, the experiment becomes permanent. If it doesn’t work, the experiment becomes a “failed” experiment which sounds a lot less painful than the alternative. Some great number of changes do not work but it is even easier to live with a failed experiment. All attitude.
We — founders, CEOs, entrepreneurs — are often our own worst enemies when it comes to doing what needs to be done. We procrastinate. We take counsel of our fears. We are influenced by others. We are so damn busy. We are afraid to go places where there is no footpath or footprints in the dewy, untrod grass.
The antidote is to simply commit to “explore” something. In the same way you are equivocating with your team to at least taste the pistachio ice cream, you are rationalizing your action with yourself. Become explorers.
On two specific instances, The Boss fell into excellent business offshoots because he simply agreed to “explore” the opportunity. They both took relatively small amounts of money and both bore fruit. Left to a fully staffed and complete analysis, he might have passed on the opportunities but he didn’t. He agreed to explore. Explorers explore.
When you find yourself attracted to a business proposition but unable to convince yourself, let your guard down just a smidgen and “explore” it. This is a call to all founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs — become explorers.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car and I’ve been exploring the Hill Country while The Boss was out of town. Do not tell The Boss cause I’m still working on him about the paint job. Be kind to yourself and be kind to someone who would never expect it. You’ll like how it feels.