Don't Solve Problems, Copy Success
It's simple :: find a bright spot and clone it.
I ran across this idea in an excerpt from the book, "Switch: How to Changes Things When Change Is Hard" in the February issue of Fast Company. Authors Dan and Chip Heath argue that, when initiating change, companies spend far too much time focusing on what's NOT working versus what IS working. As you read through the excerpt, you'll find a handful of real-world examples to emphasize the validity of this argument. But the point isn't whether they're right or wrong, the point is that this is a very thought-provoking perspective. Think about it.
For example, you're frustrated with what's going on in your department and feel as though something needs to be changed. But rather than complaining and outlining existing problems, you come in with a list of all the things that are working. And you bring your ideas of how to duplicate the success your department is already experiencing. Personally, I would be thrilled to problem-solve like this with colleagues. Through the lens of focusing on what's working to influence change. It would just bring an entirely different vibe to the conversation with the hope of everyone feeling positive about change versus feeling overwhelmed and negative about how many problems there are.
Don't get me wrong, you certainly can't ignore the problems. To me, this is just a completely different approach to finding a solution. I've been taking this approach over the last few weeks and have already noticed feeling less stressed and more hopeful. Most importantly, I've seen change and played a large role in making things happen by focusing on what's working. I encourage you to do the same. Find a bright spot and clone it.