There’s Genius Out There

When this pandemic is over, what then?

The world is changing.  Your organization is changing.  Your people are changing.  You as the leader need to capture the positive aspects of what we are learning from this experience.
Last week CBS Sunday Morning did a segment on leadership.  It included an interview with Penny Wheeler, CEO of Allina Health.  She makes a practice of walking around and talking to staff.  “Learn as much as you can from the people closest to the work.  There’s a genius that exists out there.”  How can you ferret it out?

Try a Question Burst.

Define a central challenge or opportunity faced by the organization, ask everyone in the group to write down how they feel about the issue.  Instead of trying to generate new ideas about the challenge, start by taking turns asking questions to learn more about it.  (4-5 minutes)

There are two rules to the question burst that help control the way other people see the problem or opportunity.

  1. No one is allowed to give answers.
  2. No one is allowed to explain why they’re asking the question.

At the end of the session ask everyone if they feel differently, then jointly look at the questions and decide which ones deserve more research.  Finally, the group should decide if the process has helped reframe the challenge and/or generate new ideas.

An MIT Study found that at least 80% of the time the challenge is reframed in a slightly better way and at least one valuable new idea is generated.  The process also produces motivating results: people feel more invested in the problem or challenge and excited to work on moving forward.

What can you do to lead your team in turning this pandemic into a positive?

The road is easier together,

Leave a Reply