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Did you know that Albert Einstein's brain was dissected after he died and scientists tried to figure out his genius by doing that? That is an extreme measure.
Most of the time, we try to decipher the inner thoughts of our leaders and managers to get a glimpse of their thought processes so that we can have clues to the rationale behind their actions and motivations.
Imagine your supervisor, CEO, head of the division, owner of the company starts doing something that nobody understands. This happens more than you think. Well, the old man doesn't know how to communicate or much less articulate where exactly the business is going and if our jobs will be the next in the firing line.
Companies who haven't made the implicit explicit suffer from unnecessary complexities. Without clear, rational, and strategic thinking, CEOs and leaders cannot articulate and galvanize support from their managers and staffers. Too many times, assumptions that do not conform to the realities of the market, and honest valuation of where the business is growing, where threats are coming from, on and so forth, lose its meaning. Take the case of Sears. The giant company folded up recently because the CEO has lost sight of why it was a great success in the past, forces a new strategy that is totally alien to their core DNA and thus imploded from within.
The challenge is getting the implicit assumptions out and putting on the table, dissecting it, challenging it, validating it, and raising it up to pass the standards of what the market requires and what assets the organization have/can muster. That is the place where strategic thinking starts in organizations. Alternatives can only be sought if the original idea has been validated to be no longer tenable in the context of the competitive landscape, obsolescence of product/services, or organizational failure.
Steve Jobs started with the strategy where personal computers are present in every homes-this strategy is part of the larger vision for computers to become part of the lives of people-not just in companies and institutions as computing tools for business. Avon believes in the Avon lady-as the business strategy that underlies the assumptions that the best distribution is through personal connections & word-of-mouth than using a store-front retail approach.
The best organizations have truly expressed in many creative ways what they stand for, their values and operational missions, their business strategies, and their stories that connect with their stakeholders in a compelling way.
The journey towards their next level of growths starts with understanding why the status quo no longer works/or why it is viable and define the possibilities that can come from that realization.
Do you want a piece of Einstein's brain? Hmmm.
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Framing and reframing are one of the best weapons of the trade of supervisors, managers, executives, negotiators, trainers, communicators, and of course, it can practically be anyone's.
In 2010, with two suitcases and a dream , I landed in Vancouver airport as permanent resident immigrant. No networks, no classmates, no alma mater, no friends, no former employment history in Canada. It was tough, starting again from scratch, leaving the familiarity and security of one's country to live in a foreign land. My savings went almost dry, when I finally got job.
I underwent a rigorous job application. I attended 5-panel interview that lasted almost an hour in intensity. I felt I did good but I didn't feel that I am fully secured about it too. For me at that time, it was a case of a good job.
Looking back and talking to my former supervisor, he said that I nailed it. In hindsight, I used a lot of framing and reframing skills in that time, illustrating and demonstrating my knowledge, skills, and aptitude towards the job that I am seeking. Instead of just answering their questions, I reframed a lot of them to put myself in a situation where I can give better answers. Remember not all questions are the right questions to answer.
This skill of framing the conversation, creating the situation for honesty and candor, providing alternative perspectives are tried and tested way to ensure that the objectives of the meeting are actually achieved. A lot of times, business meetings take enormous amount of time because the facilitator/chair does not know how to manage difficult conversations and steer them effectively.
Enough of that being said, another reason why reframing is important is because the meat of the topic is being skirted, avoided, or ignored. When this happens, somebody in the group can use reframing to bring back the conversation to the topic at hand, identify the hot issues, the 'elephant in the room' so-to-speak and resolve it.
Authentic communication can flourish when people in the conversation takes more time to listen than speak, frame and reframe what needs to be clearly discussed and addressed, and resolved to be accountable for the results in the interim and the long-term or whatever it takes.
You can't use this enough. I am guilty of not using it when I should be which is most of the time. I guess it boils down to being intentional and clear about what you want out of the conversation and the complexities you are facing in that moment.
I can still recall some of the best moments when I didn't jump into my logical conclusions, waited to hear everyone's perspectives, put myself in their shoes, and checked my intentions before I spoke. It made my day unexpectedly pleasant, effective, and less stressful.
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In Asia, bamboos abound. In the place where I grew up, bamboos grow everywhere.
We always equate bamboo with resilience in the context of stormy winds, hurricanes, strong rains and floods. It is very strong but it's strength doesn't come from resisting those natural forces but being able to bend but not break. Once the storm is over, these bamboos could snap back to its form, no problem.
For businesses people and executives suffering from small crisis to big upheavals, how is your resilience level? Do you snap back after a personal crisis, a sickness, losing a loved one, losing a job, getting fired, or just an unexpected turn of events in your life and career? These crises are catastrophic and any person can be physically, emotionally, and psychologically debilitated by these events.
Take note, resilience doesn't mean you don't feel pain or suffer from it. It just means that you can recover from any challenges quickly and become a better person in the process. It means taking all the challenges as fuel for the next level of personal growth and accomplishment. It means owning up your part of the problem without assigning blame, feeling resentment, and being bitter about the situation.
When we bend, we don't break. We let things go, things that we cannot control and let it takes its own course. The bending is for our betterment and this is not a sign of cowardice or timidity or weakness, but a sign of wisdom and great sense of balance and inward strength. As the cliché goes, 'this too shall pass.'
What do you think?