Here’s my email to Leadership Reno County alums today, 2/10/14:
S.O.P. Many of us live by it. Certainly our work operates by it. We trust that those police, fire safety and ambulatory service individuals among us will follow this for our good. S.O.P. is a terrific was to engage in work. What is S.O.P.? Our standard operating procedure.
I was challenged recently by a quick update from the Kansas Leadership Center which encouraged us to make experimentation your standard operating procedure. The reasoning? “Over time, ‘acting experimentally’ will become a way of being in situations that demand leadership. It’s somewhat difficult at times to see experimentation as relating to leadership, though. Here’s another quote: “Exercising leadership requires a resilient spirit and willingness to fail for the purpose of learning. Test your assumptions by actively experimenting. Imagine several possible approaches, then pick one and see what you learn. Take smart risks to reveal the best path forward.”
Another reason this is such important activity is because one of our main contentions is that we aren’t making the progress we’d like to see because we are doing the same old things in the same old ways. The gap (between our reality and dreams) isn’t necessarily shrinking, in some cases it’s expanding. So, it will require us act in different ways.
How can you act experimentally today? What can you try? Experimenting might just be a key that helps unlock progress on your difficult challenges. So, experiment and see what happens.