Sunday, January 9, 2011

You Can't Duct Tape Your Way to Success

If it breaks, get the duct tape. Duct tape seals, repairs, fastens and binds. While it may seem the universe is held together by duct tape, overuse may be a sign of trying to duct tape your way to success. Lots of duct tape literally and figuratively in your organization may be a sign of a lack of innovation and creativity leading to laziness. The greatest harm of duct tape is that it may cause poor right brain thinking, a deterrent to innovation!

Does your organization use “duct tape”?

How often does your organization use it?

Where does the “duct tape” seem to get used the most?

What would it take to put away the "duct tape" and get innovative?

Innovation and creativity have been at the heart of what has made America great. When you look at successful organizations, you find a nurturing culture, an inspiring vision and execution, as well as effective leadership and innovation.

How do you put down the “duct tape” and create an innovative culture?

Get out of your comfort zone! Stop saying, “we’ve always done it this way!” Put some duct tape on those lips! Stop being judgmental and get curious. Make “tell me more” a common response rather than, “that will never work.” To those whiners and nay-sayers, use the duct tape liberally!

Take a lesson from the world class Pike Place Fish Market. Learn to play at work! Researchers, Beeman and Subramaniam at Northwestern University recently found humor was the spark that allowed subjects to solve problems more quickly and creatively.

Take a look at the illustration. What do you see? Do you see a large block with a cubical hole in one corner? Do you see a small cube in the corner of a box? Do you see a small cube stuck on the outside of a larger box? There are three possibilities! Keep looking. Use your imagination. Learn to “see” the diagram in three different ways. Stretch your thinking and don’t believe everything you think!

Remember: Duct tape doesn’t fix critical thinking, lack of innovation or laziness!

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