Next week sees the CIPD Learning & Development Show coming to The Olympia in London! I’m fortunate to be on the Blog Squad again, alongside bloggers old and new, so I hope you’ll find what we share interesting, thought provoking with maybe a few giggles in there too.
Already, Jo, Ian and Jonathan have written some great pre-event pieces. I’ve been meaning to write for a while and was wondering what might be most useful to share. Then this weekend, inspiration came in the form of this TED Talk via a good colleague Garry Turner.
I recently learnt a new approach to problem solving called Polarity Thinking which is about solving the challenges we often come across, and which we believe are a choice of A OR B, but which are in fact something which we need to solve through A AND B.
The talk from Knut Haanaes highlights one of those such challenges – keep doing what we’ve always been good at OR be innovative?
To be at our best this isn’t an OR challenge to solve. It’s an AND. For individuals, as for organisations, we’ll achieve the best results by recognising and keeping our strengths (Exploitation as Haanaes calls it) AND by always pushing , always seeking, always discovering – staying at our learning edge (Exploration).
Haanaes refers to the quote from Bill Gates “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces us into thinking we cannot fail.” Very true if we allow success to go to our heads and swell our ego we can believe we’re invincible with no fear of failure. And, what Haanaes doesn’t talk about, is that success can also increase our fear of failing. If we start to look like we might know what we’re doing then we don’t want to rock that boat and let anybody see we might not actually be “all that” which they think we are. So we stay safe and keep doing what we’ve always done because that’s what got us success. Minimise the risk. Protect ourselves. A safe and comfy life where we’re good, but not great. Where we might just lack some excitement, interest or motiativation. So whether success grows or shrinks your fear of failure, both reduce your levels of exploration.
So, I invite you to ask yourself now. How comfy are you? How close to your learning edge are you? How is your balance between exploiting your strengths AND continuing to explore?
If you’re noticing you’re more on the comfy, exploitation side of that continuum then why not book on and join the conversations next week with an open mind to see what might light a fire for you and start some exploration.
See you there!