Most, if not all of us have either a ﬁxed way of doing things or a ﬁxed way of thinking about things. These ﬁxed patterns are known as mindsets and they can severely limit our actions in both business and private life. Imagine that you take the same route each day when you walk to your place of work. Each day you buy the same newspaper and the same sandwich for lunch. Over time you begin to get a little fed up with your choice of sandwich and the newspaper does not seem to engage you as it once did.
Most, if not all of us have either a fixed way of doing things or a fixed way of thinking about things. These fixed patterns are known as mindsets and they can severely limit our actions in both business and private life.
Imagine that you take the same route each day when you walk to your place of work. Each day you buy the same newspaper and the same sandwich for lunch. Over time you begin to get a little fed up with your choice of sandwich and the newspaper does not seem to engage you as it once did. If you had turned right at the end of your road instead of left you would have been introduced 6 months ago to a brand new shop that had a larger stock of newspapers and magazines and also a more impressive selection of sandwiches, filled rolls, cakes (and salads for the health conscious). Unless a friend or colleague tells you of this new opportunity you will remain blissfully unaware of it. Just think of the new opportunities and new faces if you varied your walk to work on a weekly basis!
So what has this got to do with your business? Well take a long look at yourself and the people that you work with. Do you advertise in the same way all of the time? Do you make exactly the same products every day? Do you try anything different at all to try and improve your business or do you do the same as you have always done? A simple change of perspective or attitude may be all that is required. Even if your business is successful, you would be interested in new business opportunities, wouldn’t you?
The effects of mindsets can be greatly exaggerated when working alone and we all need to make an effort to overcome this. Note that changes you make in your working life will affect your private life and vice versa.
Here are some golden rules that you can use as a checklist to see if a) creativity could flourish if you are looking to embrace it or b) to find out why your best efforts at being creative are failing dismally.
Here are some rules for dealing with things on a personal level:
- Mindsets must change, even if the changes are small
- Explore the ‘givens’, the problem boundaries
- Look at the broad picture AND details
- Value play
- Build up, say ‘yes and’ not ‘yes but’
- Learn to live with ambiguity
- Don’t force creativity on people, nurture what is there
- Involve other people
- Be receptive, watch and listen
- Know what your objectives are
- Cycle often, close late – don’t just plump for the quickest option
- Manage the process, if you don’t it will be a playground
… and here are some things from the wider environment:
- Whatever you do must be fun!
- Manage interpersonal differences, they will come to the fore
- Manage status differences, these will appear too
- Manage expectations, be realistic but have goals
- Inhibition and risk need to minimised, people need to feel comfortable
- Minimise group and critical pressure, use the first checklist to help here
- Ban distractions, ban laptops and mobile phones for a day if necessary
- Logistics, pay attention to small things such as decor, refreshments etc
Pay attention to the above and you have a good chance of succeeding. Now all you need to know is WHAT to do!