This entrepreneur life is like a labyrinth. You just never know what you are going to find when you turn a corner. Sometimes I find a long open stretch of path, other times I find a gap in the wall so I can squeeze through. Sometimes it is easy, often it is hard, frequently it is messy!
Over the last few weeks I have found more dead ends than I anticipated. This has been fantastic, because it means that I have to stop and really THINK about what I am doing rather than blindly forging ahead. It got me thinking about how often we get caught up in speed and efficiency and goals, and the desire to achieve outcomes someone else has set for us ALL THE TIME. Often without understanding if those goals were actually well thought through and determined through a clear process of critical thinking.
I have come to realise now that most likely not. The thinking and the debate and the analysis is so controlled that it becomes void of original purpose. Why?
Because everything we plan and do in our work is so often based on 'aspirational motivators'. We are very focussed on a mindset of positive goals "where we are going, what we want to achieve and how we will get there". You know things like " a great share price, happy shareholders, profits, a good bonus, a happy boss etc"
So we look ahead all the time and we are motivated by the end result. The aspirational goal. The "good for my career goal".
I figure by now you are wondering why this is a problem??
The problem is, that we fail to recognise and acknowledge the dark underside of motivation. We need to look at what "fears" motivate our decision making, as much as we look to "aspirational values". These "fears" become very real influencers in the process of planning and decision making, and often key cracks in your shiny new product are missed, because no one wanted to offend or upset someone, or put themselves into a potentially unfavourable position. Look at Enron, Weinstein and countless others, where blind eyes failed to see the "fear motivations".
Critical thinking allows space for this review to occur. It opens the door for every idea to be considered and it requires everyone present to look at the problem from all sides of the prism, even the sides that are not going to mean the best for each individually. This is healthy, this is where thinking leads to better decision making and where culture can really begin to become something special.
I am grateful for the opportunities that have led me into the maze, and continuingly grateful to all the amazing people, businesses and organisations that I am coming across now who are so open to thinking from all sides, even when it is confronting their dark side.
Happy Halloween - it really is the perfect time to be digging into the deep stuff.