As you think about your childhood, can you remember going by car to some exciting destination? Okay, maybe it wasn’t exciting, but you were in the car and you asked the question that kids have been asking since Henry Ford produced the Model T – “Are we there yet?”
Now, many years later, serving in a position of leadership, I understand the answer to that question is disconcerting to some. Leaders understand… We’ll never get there. The third practice of great leaders is their desire and ability to Reinvent Continuously.
You may be asking, “Reinvent what?” That’s a fair question. We generally talk about reinvention in three arenas:
Self – The best leaders are always reinventing themselves. We must work diligently to stay current and relevant. We must always be learning and growing to meet the ever changing demands of the people and the organization we serve.
Systems – The results you are getting today are the result of the systems and work processes you currently have in place. If you want different results, chances are good the system or work process will have to change. Some leaders “hope” things will get better. Hope is a wonderful thing – however, it is not a strategy for improvement.
Structure – Structure should enable, not inhibit the accomplishment of the work at hand. Structure should change with the needs of the enterprise. When the work has become very difficult or things aren’t being done with excellence, one of the things to explore is the structure. The right structure won’t necessarily make things easy, but it should make it easier to get the work done.
The big idea behind Reinvent Continuously is this: Progress is always preceded by change.
What do you need to Reinvent?