Organizations, like people, can get set in their ways. Relying on established ways of working and solving problems not only stifles innovation but can lead to a lack of perspective and moments of delusion. Here are three ways to help your organization snap out of unhelpful patterns:
- Challenge rationalizations. Every organization has shared explanations for doing things the way they do. Poke holes in those rationalizations and ask the question: why is this standard practice?
- Expose faulty either/or thinking. False dichotomies can set up irrational choices about how to work. Don’t let A or B be the only options, propose C or D as a new way of working.
- Focus on the long-term. Emphasis on the short term can trap you into current practice. Help your colleagues pull back, see the big picture, and understand not only short-term gains but long-term consequences.
Adapted from “Keeping Your Colleagues Honest” by Mary C. Gentile.