Put the snow-globe down!

In Change, Inner Performance, Insight, Thinking

Just read some interesting figures today:

  • ¾ Million Adults in the UK referred for counselling or therapy
  • 50 Million Prescriptions for anti-depressants issued
  • £3Bn/year spent on obesity and ‘expanding’
  • 20% of children leave school without a functional level of literacy and numeracy

And don’t be distracted by talking about drugs or obesity or literacy thinking that’s not relevant to me, in the business world I can quote:

  • 80% of major IT projects worldwide go over budget, timescale and significantly under-deliver
  • 70% of change programmes fail to deliver benefits
  • 70% of people have been involved in a project they knew would fail right from the start

And the cost of these runs in to £’Billions, sometimes threatening an organisations very existence.  And in the public and private sector, and society, as we pay more attention and intervene (or interfere), it gets worse, not better.

And the missing link in turning this around?  Incredibly simple, often mentioned, and then completely ignored. Even IBM in a survey points out the fact that the biggest barrier to success is ‘changing mindsets and attitudes’.  And the traditionally proffered solutions? More systems, checklists, processes, procedures, or programmes.  Pretty much more of the same that doesn’t work, so is it so surprising that nothing changes?

When we’re not in our Right Minds, we clearly don’t think straight: we chase fad diets, problems become issues or challenges and we’re stuck, little gets done – other than ‘thinking about’, we worry get anxious or stressed or depressed, get angry or short-tempered, don’t listen or pay attention, take things personally, become fuzzy minded, unable to make decisions, and generally not great to be around.

When we’re in our Right Minds, we think straight and clearly.  Things get done, we eat well, our moods go up and down quite naturally but not give them much attention, we come up with solutions to problems – in fact they don’t occur because we’re already on the case to solving them, we listen to the ideas of others, don’t take things personally, are open-minded, we get results, we’re calm, clear and a great person to be around.

Being in our Right Minds is our default setting.  Any process, procedures, or checklists that are designed to create this state only serve to get in the way by applying more thinking, not less.  It’s like agitating a snow-globe, not knowing you’re clouding the water.

And the moment we put the snow-globe down, clarity emerges very quickly, and we fall back in to our Right Minds.

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