Strategy and butterflies and kites.
I often connect seemingly disparate dots. My colleagues can attest that this "alignment on steroids" isn't always welcome. The suggested connection threatens to slow things down and sometimes doesn't make sense for the immediate problem. Sometimes the alignment makes so much sense it's mind-blowing we hadn't thought of it before. Slow down to go fast? It really is true and a mantra that creates measurable and meaningful results time after time. The dot connecting ah ha's are when you can increase sales and increase efficiencies and lower costs all at the same time. You didn't read that wrong. This is the fun stuff!
The strategy work I do is keen observation and fearless inquiry paired with an insatiable drive to make things better. It's basically a business version of connect-the-dots. And it's most fun to figure out how to look at or rearrange dots for growth. [Growth means different things to different organizations -- here I define growth as the change my client seeks.]
Butterflies. The caterpillar to butterfly transformation is truly mind-blowing. From an ugly worm to a beautiful butterfly. From crawling on the ground to flying in air. From hanging out in the dirt to floating thru the sky. The only thing that stays constant is the purpose. The purpose of both the caterpillar and the butterfly is to be a butterfly. It's a purpose that requires transformation...that happens methodically and predictably in a series of meticulously choreographed steps. Often strategy is about transformation. And transformation is a series of intentional and choreographed steps. And strategy doesn't happen without clarity of purpose. If you don't have a clear WHY it's hard to muster up the energy to make the change. Purpose matters to the butterfly and to individuals, teams, and organizations.
Kites. Kites are an everyday activity that's not really every day. The magic of the wind. The magic of pure fun. The magic of letting go. Sometimes getting tangled in a tree and getting a ladder or asking for help to get your kite down. The tug of the string as the kite reaches epic heights. The reeling, reeling, and reeling some more to bring the kite back down. To come back to the ground. To be neatly packed back in the package then placed in the closet until "the next time". In the closet is certainty, safety, and it's known. Where's the thrill of the flight, the giggles of children and adults, the unpredictability of the weather and wind? The anticipation keeps the kite's hope alive. The anticipation of the flight.
What parts of your life or organization are sitting and waiting in the closet for "the next time"? What potential does your organization have to make an impact that isn't being realized? How long have you or it been waiting? And why? Do any of these areas need a break -- a pause -- a time out -- to make time and space to plan?
The closet isn't inherently bad and the flight isn't inherently good. It's the intersection of the two that creates opportunity. Strategy is planning (closet) in a way that's not really done every day. And the opportunity is created when your daily choices (flight) reflect your plan. Strategy is about adjusting daily choices (run fast on a day with little wind to get the kite up or wait for a windier day) to achieve your plan – perhaps getting to places higher than you've been before.
What does adventure and challenge and fun ("flight") look like for you? Where do you go to think and reflect and plan ("the closet")?
Intersections of strategy and butterflies and kites. Who knew.