How many impossible ideas do you bring to the table?

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Within Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland, the Queen said, “ [w]hy, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” this statement connects with this week’s content on bringing ideas to the table as some managers may think a problem is impossible to fix because they do not know how to resolve the problem.

The first thought is the problem will go away on its own...the other thought is that there is not an issue in the first place!

Within a company, there can be two trains of thought on the problem. The first thought process is when the manager hopes that the problem may be given to someone else to resolve or goes away which I had seen in past organizations when performance issues were a concern. On the opposite end of the spectrum, occurs when a manager believes that there is not an issue in the first place.

Focus on tacit knowledge (what is understood or implied) first, then transition into explicit knowledge (clearly stated/known)

As a Business and Executive coach, when I reflect on how I will weigh the value of the knowledge, the content I research is information or tacit knowledge at this point rather than explicit knowledge. I take this measure first as I have yet to piece together the content to findings available for all to use on developing a culture of learning. I say this because I need to review what past data has shown and put this data into relevant context on the problem that may/may not be present. Once I understand what is implied within the manager's situation, I can then transition into the explicit knowledge of the problem.

It's important to weigh in on both sides of the problem to understand the complexity.

To ensure a disciplined theory of work, I believe the logic of data and facts are injected where opinion and belief would typically be shown. In doing so, the facts can determine what the problem is how this issue impacts a team/organization. I do think the need to weigh both sides of the question is essential in this case as to show what are the downsides of NOT fixing the issue. When all aspects of the research are acknowledged, I can see that the manager has taken the opportunity to explore all avenues, to the best of their ability. In doing so, the manager is now looking at the impossible as possible.

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