Hosted by Colin Hunter, CEO of PotentialSquared and Liane Davey, psychologist and author, P2’s second in its planned series of webinars addressed the topic of “grow up – get along, and get stuff done.” Our expert panelists looked for ideas around inspiring teams and getting meaningful things achieved.
You can watch the full debate in the link below for what was a fascinating, wide-ranging discussion.
The scene is set here:
Liane Davey introduced early on the idea that “the three layers of growing up, getting along, and getting stuff done are about understanding that organizations are systems – if we don’t appreciate individual factors, team factors, and larger structural factors then we are going nowhere.”
Panelists also played around with ideas of being stuck and making sense of the mess around them in the workplace.
Marcus Degerman, author, public speaker, and organizational developer, asked the question “how do we collaborate?” He explained that often there are a few individuals who refuse to grow up or have grown up too much and take themselves too seriously (or are too professional) which means they simply refuse to fail and that makes it very hard for teams to get along and ‘get stuff’ done.
This train of thought led neatly to the idea of leaders needing to loosen their professionalism and consider alternative perspectives on how they should operate.
“Currently 75% of people feel stuck in their career, net promotor scores for a lot of organizations are going down, and a vast number of employees believe their organizations are unprepared for the future, so this could get very messy, very complex,” explained Colin Hunter.
The question that the panel returned to was, what does ‘grow up’ mean? Ela Ben-Ur, design coach and educator, explored theories around leaders tapping back into the wonderment and curiosity of their childhood. By embracing these childlike tendencies within the adult world our self-awareness is improved, as well as allowing us how to gain a better understanding of what is happening within working groups. “It is really powerful if you can take different perspectives and grow abilities to understand what matters most,” she said.
The ability to think like a child, opens up a plethora of creativity and potential for a multitude of solutions of “who, what, when, where, how”. Freeing up limits to the myriad ways to solve a problem is vital, especially when ‘stuff’ gets tougher and things get messier.
Ela Ben-Ur continued: “You can often get stuck with lots of ideas and no action. Kids try stuff without fear of failure. Can we, as adults, learn from this and step back from mistakes, find a small safe experiment so we are not scared to take the next step and own whatever the outcome?”
Marcus Degerman took these thoughts a step further by explaining how some organizations want to understand how to become more agile, more adaptive, or how their teams are not pushing hard enough.
“I talk about a scale between failing and falling and jumping off. I realized after learning to skateboard with my son that you fall all the time and jump off all the time, but you don’t hurt yourself. So how can we set things up so you can fall off when you realize you are onto a bad idea and, at the same time, avoid pushing an idea too far so it becomes a big failure when the stakes are so much higher?”
He concluded: “So, testing and experimenting is important as well as getting into a mindset where it is okay to fail and fall off. That I think is important.”
The conversation explored numerous other key areas such as:
- Ways of thinking – thinking with your head, your gut (instinct), and your emotions (heart), which are all valuable to the leadership role;
- Unlearning habits and leaving your expertise at the door;
- Letting go – how can experts do more coaching and let go to enable other leaders to grow and develop?
- Reframing the ‘why’ question so that it doesn’t lead to defensiveness;
- Answering the why and the how and to avoid framing these types of questions as a leader.
See the full recording.