Reports, Data and Best Practices: how often do you see those items for supplying you with key organizational information and trends only to discover they  are outdated before they are even published?

Gone are the days of relying on these information sources. Given the speed of change and uniqueness of each organization, data, trends and best practices no longer meet the mark, nor did they ever. There is no one-size-fits all approach that applies to each situation or organization.

How then can you stay on top of what is currently relevant for you, your team and your organization? It requires doing active research within your context.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Get clear on the opportunity or challenge you want to address.
  2. Formulate questions that you can use to get input from others that can give you a broader view of the opportunity or challenge. 
  3. Choose who you talk with while minimizing bias. For instance, you don’t want to pick only those people who tend to embrace change, get onside easily, or who are overly polite.
  4. Talk with them. Ask open-ended questions and truly listen. Ask more questions to dig deeper, to understand what is truly being shared. Minimize making assumptions when somebody gives a broad and vague answer. Ask more. Take notes.
  5. Do quick surveys with relevant stakeholders. Get multiple and many perspectives.
  6. Use the information to map out the information you have gathered. You can do this by hand or use a mapping software. 
  7. Share the visual and have people add more clarity.
  8. With the revised visual, notice what things could shift the dynamics of all the inter-related components.
  9. Narrow down to 1-2 things to experiment with in shifting from the current state to the desired state.
  10. Repeat.

This approach is what is referred to as systems thinking. Systems thinking is an integral part of the positive impact leadership approach and is a technique that requires learning and development to truly master. It involves uncovering  more details about the opportunity or challenge, to learn and understand in greater depth in order to map out the situation or context, and it can be so helpful and relevant for you, your team, and your organization.

To learn more about how to apply this approach in your leadership or for your organizational culture, reach out for a complimentary, 30-minute, exploration call with me.

Yours in taking a systems approach,


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