How stuck is your organization in terms of being bound by precedent and memory?  Certainly there is an upside to precedent and memory, but are you so locked into what has always been that you can’t even consider what might be?  In the last few weeks I’ve written several times about the need to really see what’s possible if you want to have any shot at attaining a different trajectory than you’re on right now.

Dscn0707 In fact, I love this drawing from Glen Hiemstra.  It illustrates perfectly the idea that if you want to get to preferred you’ll have to do new things.  If you’re insistent on maintaining the current methods, you can’t reasonably expect to end up anywhere but probable.

So the question is, how do you begin to do what you’ll need to do in order to move the trajectory over, so that you end up in the preferred future?  That’s just it.  You have to begin.  It’s about doing what you can at first.  Meetings are important.  But it’s the doing part that enables the move to the new trajectory.

And that’s why I love this David Kelley quote from The Knowing-Doing Gap.  When introducing a new structure to the team at IDEO he said:

"This is the best we can think of right now.  But the only thing I am sure of is that it [the structure] is temporary and it is wrong.  We just have to keep experimenting so it keeps getting better all the time (p. 106)."

I’m convinced if we could start with that acknowledgment, if we could build a culture (or integrate this concept into our existing culture), we could make the first moves to a new trajectory.

The Upside of Precedent and Memory