Playing Jenga for Change

Apr 14, 2023 2:01 pm

Happy Friday!

This will be a quick email this morning since I am rushing to get out the door and go on a field trip with my oldest son.

That same son, yesterday morning, told me how he figured out how to watch YouTube by playing a game that would show a video that he would pause, then use the video to launch YouTube.

I'm not even mad, I told him that was clever.

I also told him that finding indirect routes to accomplishing what you want is a really powerful idea that will help him for the rest of his life, and that's what I'm writing about.

Imagine there's a Jenga tower in front of you, and your job is to knock that tower down. However, your opponent doesn't want that tower to fall at all, and so every time you get close, they get in your way. They're super-human at stopping you.

This is what it feels like trying to make change happen in a company pretty often. You see what needs to happen, but everything seems arranged to stop you.

What I often do is look around the room at what else is going on. Sure, I need that tower to fall, but just directly going after it isn't helpful and is likely going to lead to frustration and having a bad relationship with the tower keeper.

So, when I look around the room, I'm looking for things that might help make the tower fall. For instance, maybe it's possible to knock a broom over that will hit the tower. Maybe I can enlist someone to distract the keeper. Maybe I can call the dog over and get him to jump on the table.

Get it? I hope so because that list above is a bit silly. The point is that while taking a head-on approach is likely not going to work well, an indirect one often will.

If you have some change you want to see, be like my kid and find the game that lets you get to what you want.

And if you want to talk through your change with me and come up with ideas, email me or schedule a call!