Extract from a recent guest post for Catherine Wilks of In Movement, as part of a series of blogs on 'Adventure'
It’s not that common – especially within established businesses - for people* to talk about going on an Adventure. To explore their work in a way that suggests tackling the unknown, taking some risks, experiencing real emotions … & of course packing appropriately!
*generally referred to as individuals, teams, departments or organisations
It was Thomas Edison though who said:
“If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves”
But in business as in life, we can all become stuck. We can all become too comfortable with the way we always do things. We can get so comfortable that we don’t even realize we’re comfortable – not even considering there may be a different way of exploring a problem or opportunity.
But if we really want to motivate our people, or we want to develop a cutting edge strategy or we want to do something incredible for our customers then doing what we’ve always done just won’t cut it. We have to become unstuck. We have to develop our understanding of and appreciation for adventure.
So what do we know about Adventures …
To start with, an adventure isn’t just going to drop onto your desk, neatly packaged with a guarantee of what’s inside. To go on an adventure you need a catalyst. Someone needs to be brave, needs to put their hand up and say “how might we do this differently”.
We know that following this first brave step even more tenacity is needed. Creating an adventure requires leadership, a vision of what you’re going after, the support of key people, the right team & the right equipment to take on the adventure with you. And then frankly – you just need some doing. You need to put on the crampons and get yourself and your team up the mountain. Because without this doing, all you’ve got is a great idea.
We also know that being on an adventure will create a whole range of (potentially extreme) emotions. Being part of a new team, in new surroundings, being faced with new decisions and developing solutions you’ve not had to consider before can be terrifying. It can fill you with fear and uncertainty. It’s inevitable that at some point on the adventure you’ll wish you’d stayed at home – doing the things you know how to do. But at the same time it will be exhilarating and hugely rewarding. And if you allow it, it will teach you more about yourself, your capabilities and the capabilities of those around you than any coffee table book with beautiful pictures (or management book) could ever teach you about going on an adventure.
And here’s the thing – the more adventures we go on the more we’ll understand what our true capabilities are. Little by little we’ll build up the kit we need for future adventures. We’ll start to tell others about how we astounded ourselves whilst on our adventures and inspire them to put up their hands and say “how might we …”