Why does it make sense to keep looking for opportunities and to jump right into change while at the same time being anchored in a steady and solid core?
Sometimes you are inspired in a way that gives rise to something new. Or perhaps it touches on something you are already engaged in and enjoy witnessing in others.
I am interested in the ways that an organization can look for new opportunities and improvements and keep pushing the boundaries for positive development while at the same time maintaining a clear focus on a set of shared values that are worth holding on to.
Look for opportunities
That is why I felt very inspired when recently I read about Give Steel. Every day, the CEO and owner Torben Laursen asks himself and his company the question: “How can we perform even better tomorrow?”
Due to this persistent focus on new opportunities they have been able to expand both in revenue and staff, even during the recession years in the 00s.
A marvellous story of success.
On the contrary…
… In the middle of a wave of awe over changes and developments in 2014 a different perspective was voiced by Svend Brinckmann, who advised people to hold on and not be pushed forward by directors who wanted changes without bothering to ask why.
All on one side – or the other
The danger of focusing exclusively on improvements and changes is that you may end up just going with a flow. As a director and as an organization you just keep chasing the next target. Nothing immediately within your grasp ever seems quite good enough! Exciting enough! Great enough! Enough! You´re always on the go, never settling and never enjoying the here-and-now and what you have already achieved.
The danger of too much holding on is that you might get stuck, that you don’t improve where you should or change inveterate habits that are counterproductive to what you want to experience or achieve. It might result in your organization losing its raison d’ëtre.
Why do you need both?
So I’d like to promote a combination of both. I´d recommend keeping a firm foothold that will actually enable you to seize new opportunities and so keep on moving.
In my opinion, to hold on means always to ask whether proposed changes will really be beneficial and purposeful and whether the gains will outweigh the costs.
To seize opportunities, on the other hand, means to make improvements in order to make a positive and well-defined difference for something or someone. Even if it takes much energy to make them.
If a company is well grounded in a shared focus and a clear set of values, it is possible to keep seizing such opportunities which open up to sustainable improvements that are of real value to costumers, to workers and to everyone else involved.
This is without a doubt a part of the story about Give Steel and other similar successes.