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Build this powerful, influential skill to help make sense of change, communicate clearly and engage people in the most challenging situations

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    Entries in start (3)

    Friday
    Nov202015

    Hellllooooo procrastinators : how to make things happen, stat!

    The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.’ - Walt Disney

    There’s a message here from the Director of Your Life; don’t wait for the script to arrive.

    Get on with it. Everyday life is the biggest improvisation of all. No script. No rehearsal. Get straight out on to the stage of life and start performing!

    Ray Bradbury, the science fiction, horror and fantasy writer, said, ‘First you jump off the cliff and you build your wings on the way down’. And although some believe the quote attributable to Kurt Vonnegut, another equally interesting and creative author, the message is the same: leap and the net will appear, you will adapt, you’ll work it out and you’ll be moving!

    Spur of the moment is often good enough

    For many planners, strategists and forward thinking folks, planning is a part of their everyday life. They plan their morning; they plan their lunch; they plan their afternoon; and they plan family holidays, expeditions and adventures. But to deal with the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous life which is how the world is now operating, to plan can sometimes be too slow.

    I love the idea of starting before you're ready and making things up as we go along.

    I joke with friends and family that there are some cities and towns in the world that if I had the opportunity to visit them again, you could take me to the airport right now. With nothing more than a credit card in my hand and my passport in my back pocket, I would work it all out as I went.

    That idea can freak some people out. But I'd really would be willing to do that. Wanna travel with me?

    The performance of starting

    Starting before you're ready is a response based on a theory around improvisation. Step into any community or public theatre on any night of the week in almost any city around the world and you will be able to discover the talents and prowess of improvisers. They step onto stages, performing for paying public and they are able to create and deliver an incredible performance almost every time.

    At the end of an improvised show, many theatergoers ask, ‘can we come back tomorrow night and see this performance again?’ Some audiences don’t realise that the show they just saw was fully improvised. Perhaps, a suggestion was given from someone in the audience to start a scene for the performance. Perhaps, one of the performers has added their own ideas. In fact, this is what improvisation is. It’s cutting loose your censor and setting free the inhibitions in your mind to deliver creativity.

    When I first learned the skills of improvisation with Impro Melbourne and was encouraged to step onto stage as a performer, I always felt that I needed to rehearse a bit more or prepare in my mind what I was going to do. Just as improvisers step onto a stage without a script so must we in workplaces today.

     Having a go

    The idea that we can start before we are ready, gives us permission to just have a go, to not have a plan, to not have a script, to not have a structure and to not have any clue where this might go! This of course can be terrifying for those who like to plan, for those who like certainty, for those who like unambiguous situation and for those who like steady and calm environments. 

     Start before you're ready says don't worry about planning fully. If you are 80% ready to go, then go. If you are 40% ready to go, then go with something. If you are 20% ready to go, then go with that.

    Start before you're ready. 

    If you continue to plan out every single step of your idea, of your business opportunity, of your entrepreneurial thoughts or of your team's actions, your capacity to respond to volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are minimized. To be able to start at anytime - particularly before you're ready - gives you the opportunity to respond, to adapt, to be agile and to be flexible.

    Procrastinators.... helloooooo?

    Over the longer term starting before you're ready helps reduce your inhibitions, your structures, your limitations and your beliefs about what can be possible, what you can create and what you can do. And for the procrastinators among us (yes, me too), starting before you're ready is a very cool way to get some momentum, to get something 'out there' and get over your need for it to be finished, perfect or better before you put it out there.

    Have a crack. That's Aussie slang for 'have a go'. It's an Australian saying I'm often saying to myself, and groups and clients to encourage starting.

    Try it out. Start before you're ready and then document what happens. You could be on to something truly life changing for you and those you impact with your thinking, creativity and work.

    Monday
    Dec222014

    Who's the entrepreneur inside?

    We're all starters, initiators, instigators and creators. 

    We do this stuff everyday! We start a new day, we come up with an idea or a solution, we work on things, projects and pieces of work, and we find ingenious ways to hack things and get stuff done. 

    It's just that we don't often acknowledge to ourselves that we can have a great idea or a potential solution. 

    Those seeds of doubts have deep roots indeed!

    It's doubt that I've seen and heard more than any other response from the business owners, leaders and individuals I've mentored throughout this year. They've doubted they could do or achieve or deliver or launch or write or produce.

    And yes, doubt lives in me too. 

    Doubt is a great disabler. It can slow things down, distract us and take us off course - whatever that course is meant to be. 

    Doubt will eat at that cool idea you've had bubbling away and doubt will stop you from thinking you can do something about it. 

    But we are all entrepreneurial in one way or another. 

    We all have the potential to start something new today, or tomorrow, and just have a go at it. It need not be the billion dollar business that sets us up for the rest of our lives... but who knows, it could be. 

    As the pressure rises and falls over the coming weeks, find some moments to wonder to yourself, just wonder.... 'who's the entrepreneur inside?'

    What could you start?

    What could you launch?

    What could you instigate, create or bring forth?

    What have you wondered about... whether it might be worth having a 'go' at it?

    Do it now. Start something, you entrepreneur you!

    Friday
    Dec122014

    The Importance of the Start

    'Begin as you intend to continue', or 'start as you mean to go on', are maxims or sayings that I've often heard.

    There's such a great application of this when you start a project, piece of work, a meeting, workshop or strategy session with a team. 

    I cringe when people kick off an inspiring team day or a high value strategic session with this: "So just some housekeeping... the toilets are over there, the wifi password is there and ... blah blah blah"

    Think of how a movie starts. It's usually some scene setting for the whole story or a dramatic exchange that sets up the 'why' of the film. 

    The same goes at work. How you start something sets the scene. It says so much about what is to come. 

    Starting with housekeeping ain't inspiring. Yes it needs to be said, but not in the first few seconds or minutes. 

    Bring some drama, impact, presence and creativity to the scene. Set the scene. Do something that makes sense for people, that inspires them to think 'WOW I'm glad I'm here... this is gonna be good.'

    The start is your opportunity to deliver impact and most importantly, to FRAME what this is about, why we're all here and what's going to happen. 

    Check out any athlete - swimmers, cyclists and runners are perfect examples - and you'll see how much effort they put in to the starting part of their event. Without a brilliant start, they've got to work too hard to claw it back. It's near on impossible to regain the lost time, momentum and to 'catch' those who've lept ahead. 

    Start. Strong, clear, bold and audacious. 

    Then continue with that momentum and it will be a great meeting, workshop, strategy, conversation and event.