Is your company “insane”?

Shawnee Love   •  
May 14, 2010

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result ~ Albert Einstein

Maybe that isn’t the dictionary definition, but I think Einstein had it right as it relates to organizations. As business leaders we often do the same things over and over on our quest to be great. That might be a smart strategy if what you are doing is causing you to be successful, but what if the results of your actions are only mediocre?

I think back to my early days playing the sport of Ultimate Frisbee (a team sport that is similar to football only played with a Frisbee and doesn’t involve contact). I learned a particular grip, and it was working for me. I was pretty consistent with my accuracy and getting decent distance on each of my throws. Then I attended a training clinic and saw how far and accurately the instructor could throw with his grip- the full length of the field to a pre-marked spot on the field! And I was faced with a dilemma:

  • Keep doing what I was doing because it was “good enough”,
  • Change my grip knowing my throws would be terrible while I was learning, but if I got the new grip my throws would go much further and be more accurate.

This is a predicament we face in organizations every day. Do we keep doing what we are doing and be as we are (props to you if what you are doing is already fantastic), or do we redesign ourselves for the possibility of being better?

I challenge you to think about that over your weekend brunch and join me next week for more discussion on this topic.