Curiosity is the source of great endeavors.
The US was still reeling from the Great Depression when World War II broke out. Most men entered the service. Women joined the work force along with the men who remained on the job. America won the war due to an astonishing surge in productivity that provided materials for the war, along with all the goods and services necessary for the country. There is no word for the sudden shift in innovation and productivity our forefathers generated.
The word “water” can’t make you wet. The word “love” can mean a thousand different things. The more you talk to the people in your business system, the more they reinforce disparate meanings based on their own separate experiences, and the less they see what is actually happening. In our modern tower of babble, people don’t share a common vision.
Everyone knows instinctively how things should work. But when you start from a cluster of misperceptions, you can’t get there from here. Teammates work at cross purposes due to a crisis of perception. They fall into double binds—tangled mental hooks, which multiply over time.
Intense direct experience can bypass the tangle of misunderstanding. Instinctive learning situations stimulate the senses and clarity perceptiveness. People align their vision and play together intensively. Old systems crumble like faulty dams that have been holding back the rush of a fast moving river. New thinking pathways form that bring people together as a great force.
Peter Drucker noted that leadership has to see things the way they really are before they can make meaningful changes. No one can see everything accurately. But it is relatively simple to perceive successive approximation of reality. Increasing clarity gives you the vital edge in your field.
It only takes a few days to get your people on the same page so they can relinquish their fixed opinions and disparate ideas in exchange for the ability to see actual events as they occur. When people find common desire, they focus together like great sports teams that ride a wave of team spirit. They give you something to work with. Innovation appears spontaneously in unpredictable patterns that create new business realities.
Innovative companies grow exponentially. Organizations that imitate are doomed to decline. Inevitably they dissipate. A tree is dying from the moment it sprouts. The essence of your business is ebbing away from the moment you launch. When you see the process of dissipating structures, you can ride the waves of change.
Enduring systems find a way to adapt and reproduce. They evolve, even as the world around them dissolves. These are enduring processes that you can use to create generations of success. By cultivating a curious culture, you enable your teams to evolve by adapting to changes in the business environment.
Beliefs and concepts are overrated in business. Basic truths are self-evident. You can see them for yourself. Problems blind most business teams. Fortunately your key people can learn to notice changes right along with you. When that happens, unexpected innovations will appear.