If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!!
Yup – we’ve all heard that one before. Undoubtedly, there’s wisdom in the statement. But, I’m not referring to wise acceptance of an effective process that avoids unnecessary change. I’m referring to active adherence to inefficient paradigms. Understand, though, the value expressed in the statement is one that lacks dynamism. It’s dynamism that makes a leader agile and the organization adaptable. Extraordinary leaders leverage agility and adaptability to seek opportunity and to take risks implicit to new opportunity. Old processes often get in the way of that.
In challenging processes, we exam the environment and how our processes interact. We consider how we could make those processes better by risking seeking new opportunities. Fruitful opportunities yield potentially improved or new processes and, thus, we challenge the old ones.
As extraordinary leaders, we have to be innovative and open-minded. We need to be looking to constantly improve the processes and infrastructure to our organization to adapt to an ever-changing environment. We must have a keen eye for spotting opportunity and a plan to tackle it. Opportunity manifests in myriad modes: business opportunities, training opportunities, leadership opportunities, group opportunities, and individuals ones. Some opportunities are major and long-term, others are simple and short-term. All, however, are beneficial if approached properly and we must consider how new opportunities can change and improve processes.
As for risk, simply put: no risk, no reward. I guess you could also say nothing lost either. And that is true; however, how can we grow if we stay within our comfort zone and never venture out? That’s why we’re in positions of leadership. If we do nothing different, nothing ever changes for the better, and our personnel remain in an unchanging, antiquated system. If we want something different, we have to be willing to take a risk. Really, that’s why we’re there–in a leadership position that is–to lead your personnel through change, out of their comfort zone, and into a potentially more fruitful environment.
As leaders, we look for opportunity and assess the risk. Challenging processes isn’t easy and can cause anxiety and stress, but the pay-off that change can bring is indispensable.
Remember, calm seas never made tough sailors, so keep challenging.