Recently I read a white paper, “Machiavelli’s The Prince Meets Sun Tzu” that made me consider statesmanship and negotiation rather than war. Sun Tzu said, every battle is won or lost before it’s every fought. Battles are won or lost in the preparation. Seeing around corners is all about preparation.
Preparation requires skill, skills we don’t often use, it requires imagination and an addiction to change. Preparation requires we ponder what’s not here, what did the author miss? Preparation requires we dig deeper, consider what’s not changing and what the change of events will be, preparation is not easy!
Preparation requires we ask why and find the “and”; finding the “and” requires we find innovative solutions that make compromise unnecessary. Preparations require we challenge our culture.
Battles are won or lost in the preparation.
Organizational culture powerfully influences a company’s performance — or at least we say so. I often hear executives reassure me that projects will get done because “we have an execution culture,” or that customers will be well taken care of because “we have a culture where the customer comes first.” At the same time, culture is also one of the great rationalizations for managerial shortcomings. Many times I’ve heard that a project was delayed because “we don’t make quick decisions around here,” which is the managerial equivalent of “the dog ate my homework.”
But the problem with all of these statements — both positive and negative — is that they don’t really mean anything. Worse yet, they can’t be translated into any kind of action. At best these declarations are vague generalizations; and at worst they are misleading stereotypes.
Evaluating the culture requires we be open listeners, accept the “stupid ideas”, pick a performance target and take it to the extreme; challenge the team; “ask why not”?
“I don’t know why we all hang onto something we know we’re better off letting go. It’s like we’re scared to lose what we don’t really have. Some of us say we’d rather have that something than nothing, but the truth is to have it halfway is harder than not having it at all.” (Give a penny, take a penny)
Seeing Around corners does not require “Zoltar” and some cosmic ability.
Seeing around corners requires preparation and imagination. It requires discipline. This practice and visualization it is not unlike chess. Challenging what we do. Never accepting that good is good enough is critical to seeing around corners.
Seeing around corners will help point us to next level. It is the voice of life that calls us to come and learn. Seeing around corners is not a question if you can rather it’s do ya?
All the runners in the race compete only one wins- Run to win!