Balancing The “More” With The “New”

Many organizational questions boil down to the categories of Evolution and Revolution: “What can we improve or change?” (Evolution) and “What can we do that hasn’t been done before?” (Revolution). A number meetings I’ve been a part of recently – with different groups of people, in different contexts – have ended up circling the same question: “Instead of Evolution, should we be considering Revolution?”

This is a time of difficulty and challenges for many organizations, struggling to survive in new economic realities. But it is also a time of reinvention and rebirth, with companies trying new business models, new products, and new approaches to engagement. For many companies, shifting from an Evolution mindset to a Revolution mindset has been a necessary tool for survival in the COVID era.

This also plays out on a personal level. Over the last six months, you may have found yourself asking “What do I need to do more of?” or “less of?” But if you spend most of your time in the Evolution mindset, it’s easy to miss the opportunities for reinvention that are possible to you now. And if you spend most of your time in the Revolution mindset, you might feel by turns both excited and unmoored.

This Week’s Tip:

Consciously choose to spend time in both the Evolution and the Revolution mindsets.

  • Set aside time to look at your projects, and ask yourself which are “Evolution” and which are “Revolution.” Which are ‘more of the same’ and which are ‘brand new ideas’?
  • Try on a different approach; Look at your “Evolution” projects through a “Revolution” mindset to see what you might be missing, and vice versa.
  • In meetings, try introducing the alternate approach and see where the conversation leads.
  • Consider which mindset you and each of your closest colleagues lean in to the most. If you each lean the same way, consider this as you schedule planning meetings, and think about who else might be a valuable addition.

Try this out this week, and let us know how it goes in our Facebook group! We’d love to hear from you. As always, you can subscribe to our feed here, or sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these articles directly in your inbox.

Published by Ian Jackson

Ian Jackson is the founder of Building Bridges Leadership, which works with individuals, teams, and organizations to create authentic community in the workplace. He also writes children's fiction and teaches creative writing.

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