Easily the most distressing statement repeated in government offices nationwide is the phrase “we’ve always done it that way.” This phrase is what we like to refer to as bureaucratic gravity and it suppresses change and strangles innovation in any organization! Change and innovation are siblings, twins really, and are so intertwined that when executed effectively they provide a powerful one-two punch to knockout the status quo.
Insulated from external forces, government at all levels must remain vigilant in raising the collective self-awareness of what’s working and what’s not working within their organization. Adjusting the thermostat to ensure it’s not too cozy and comfortable is essential to staying poised in an effort to continually improve. If not, complacency takes root and inertia follows which can create an intolerable and destructive dis-functionality undermining public credibility.
The “new normal” for government, places a scrutiny that is far greater than what we’ve seen in the past. Consequently, staying relevant as a community asset, while serving as that protagonist for a high quality of life, must become a key area of focus for government leaders.
With summer just around the corner, here’s our suggested workout routine to help you and your organization get way past “we’ve always done it that way” and accelerate positive change:
- Create a Workout Plan – We bring together leaders, both elected and appointed, to hit the reset button and craft a cohesive and compelling strategy comprised of agreed-upon priorities, action steps and timetable to monitor progress. These can involve intense thought-provoking exchanges of ideas by passionate people, which is exactly what’s needed right now. The outcome unifies effort and creates a shared understanding about what services and programs are a must for any government organization.
- Enlist Partners – It has been proven that in order to get in shape and stay in shape, you need to have a partner to help you stay motivated! Times are rough and it’s the new norm to expect turbulent times in the workplace. Often times, turbulence brings excitement and that excitement can be the perfect ingredient for positive change. Grab that excitement, enthusiasm and energy – bottle it if you have to, but leverage it – remember people of all ages are downright insatiable searching for inspiration so they can believe in something and to commit their energy. Spend less time trying to convert people and more time giving the rest of your workforce reasons to believe the future is bright. Our team helps catalyze the energy and commitment of workforce members and help them realize that change can happen in an instant and it should happen instantly every day.
- Buy Good Equipment. – You might get a charge from buying the most expensive bike on the rack, but it won’t necessarily help you pedal faster. Good leaders understand that “form follows function” and recognize that simply moving boxes on an organizational chart will not result in improved performance. Work to determine what services a particular department should provide before reorganizing its staff members. With a clear focus, high performers will be unleashed.
- Hit the Gym – Exercise your mind and keep it moist by visiting an intellectual buffet of new ideas. Take a field trip with your staff and explore the arts. The world of art is incredibly provocative as it challenges our assumptions and inevitably illuminates our perspective. Attend a webinar and hear about leading-edge solutions designed to accelerate change. Our R.A.P.I.D. Innovation training workshop (http://www.gettingbetterallthetime.com/training_details#rapid is a powerful workout at the mental gym fortifying the innovation muscles your workforce members need.
Summer is the perfect time to sharpen your skills and we look forward to the possibility of helping you to implement a practical and powerful workout plan to shatter “we’ve always done it that way” and replace it with a “new way of doing it.”