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Playing bumper cars

When I first enter into working with an organization, I attempt to interview a variety of people. My goal is to see the organization from their unique perspective. But at times, I’m not certain that everyone is even talking about the same organization. Marketing, HR, Finance, Customer Service, Engineering, Logistics – each has its view that a single truth stands above the complexity of the issues.

And indeed, sometimes it is one thing. It’s the latest social media advertising campaign. But at other times it’s employee retention. At times it is lean operations. Then again it’s the influence of internal politics. Or it can be ideas and thinking that come from outside of the organization – from Steve Jobs at Apple or Jeffrey Immelt at General Electric. Or maybe it’s learning best practices from another industry.

Amid the opinions of the “one true thing,” stands the real problem: it’s all of these things and more. All at the same time, bumping into each other like a wild game of bumper cars. Chaotic. Complex. Unpredictable.

And so the discussion begins. What is the one question that we could ask together that would make a difference today? What is so important to this organization that it should not be lost, but kept and preserved? What guides you when you don’t know the answer? What can you accomplish together that you can’t do alone?

Uncertainty as opportunity

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