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Mount Everest Shows the Danger Of Clinging To Goals: Embrace Uncertainty Like An Entrepreneur

Mount Everest Shows the Danger Of Clinging To Goals:  Embrace Uncertainty Like An Entrepreneur | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

In 1996 a disaster of historic proportion happened on the peak of Mount Everest. In the entire climbing season, 15 climbers died. Eight of those deaths took place on a single day."


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In the corporate world we’re often focused on achieving our goals at all costs. This eventually reaches the status of dogma.

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Journalist and mountain climber Jon Krakauer captured this story in his book “Into Thin Air;” he was on the mountain that day.
    
Krakauer puts part of the blame on the stubbornness of a climbing guide. While there is some evidence to support this claim, most climbers are, by definition, stubborn and arrogant. Yet disasters of this magnitude are rare. 
    
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In this case the teams encountered a traffic jam at Hilary pass that slowed progression, and disregarded their turnaround time.   ...Members, however, continued on reaching the summit   ...Doug Hansen, a postal service worker from the New Zealand group, was the last to summit. While he made it to the top, the odds were against him ever coming back.

Like seven others, he died on the descent. 

     

...What would it look like to embrace uncertainty?

      

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Start with your means.  Don't wait for the perfect opportunity.
   
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Professor Saras Sarasvathy interviewed forty-five “successful” entrepreneurs and found a disconnect between our thoughts on entrepreneurs as successfully pursuing a goal-oriented approach and reality.

    

"An entrepreneur's ...precise endpoint was often mysterious to them, and their means of proceeding reflected this. Overwhelmingly, they scoffed at the goals-first doctrine of Locke and Latham. Almost none of them suggested creating a detailed business plan or doing comprehensive market research to hone the details of the product they were aiming to release."

  

The most valuable skill of a successful entrepreneur...[is] the ability to adopt an unconventional approach to learning: an improvisational flexibility  [including] a willingness to change the destination itself, [using] a set of principles she calls “effectuation.”

      

 “Start with your means. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Start taking action, based on what you have readily available: what you are, what you know and who you know.”

     

A second is the “principle of affordable loss”  ...— ask how big the loss would be if you failed. So long as it would be tolerable, that’s all you need to know. Take that next step, and see what happens.

        

“The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning,” argued the social psychologist Erich Fromm. “Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.” Uncertainty is where things happen. It is where the opportunities — for success, for happiness, for really living — are waiting.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

As one who faithfully taught purpose, goals and work planning since the 90s, I've learned to revise my thinking post 9-11, in a global, "anti-fragile" (Taleb) age, embracing a different approach to adaptive change.  Now, it is especially important to think like an entrepreneur, to embrace uncertainty, and to get clear about how goals can also be a trap.  

    

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“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”  

~ Bruce Lee
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This piece illustrates the deadly side of goal-setting, and features one of my favorite entrepreneurial professors, Dr. Saras Saravathy - who has the research goods on how to embrace uncertainty, a bias for action, and how pushing through failure helps create entrepreneurial success.

    
Entrepreneurial thinking is a mindset that can help all of us let go of the industrial age rigidity.  Note that GM is mentioned in the article.   It's worth pondering for what you might choose to do differently, tolerating a certain amount of uncertainty, in your own life, tonight and tomorrow.  

    

~  Deb 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, June 25, 2014 2:18 PM

As one who faithfully taught purpose, goals and work planning since the 90s, I've learned to revise my thinking post 9-11, in a global, "anti-fragile" (Taleb) age, embracing a different approach to adaptive change.  Now, it is especially important to think like an entrepreneur, to embrace uncertainty, and to get clear about how goals can also be a trap.  
    
This piece illustrates the deadly side of goal-setting, and features one of my favorite entrepreneurial professors, Dr. Saras Saravathy - who has the research goods on how to embrace uncertainty, a bias for action, and how pushing through failure helps create entrepreneurial success.

    
Entrepreneurial thinking is a mindset that can help all of us let go of the industrial age rigidity.  Note that GM is mentioned in the article.   It's worth pondering for what you might choose to do differently, tolerating a certain amount of uncertainty, in your own life, tonight and tomorrow.  


~  Deb 

Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from Blue Sky Change
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Horror stories, language and lessons: Building Change Capability

Horror stories, language and lessons: Building Change Capability | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

No Trust = Minimal and ineffective change - with a true horror story ERP failed implementation to bring it home.


See Daryl Conner's Change Commitment Curve for the full model.

   
In this change practitioner group's MeetUp a key question emerged:  How do you build, manage and reward trust through successful engagements and implementations of change?

   

Take the horror story shared:

   

  • a large-scale ERP implementation that with 8 hours to go until commencement of training, cancelled the training courses and disrupted delegates who were flying from across the country to attend.” The client never regained trust in the solution being delivered or the solution provider managing the change.

   

  • Lack of trust can lead to a horror story, or like with the story above, a horror story can lead to a lack of trust. 

   

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Lack of trust can lead to a horror story...or a horror story can lead to a lack of trust.

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Other excerpts: 

  

  • Our job is made harder by the fact that sometimes it’s best not to call change “change” and it can be difficult knowing when and who that rule applies to.

  

On language and labels, including internal change champions:

      

  • Often even they don’t want to be associated with the change by title. It’s as if labelling someone a “Change Capability Manager” or “Change Champion” gives the rest of the organisation the right to lump that person who has “change” in their title with all the stuff they’d rather not manage themselves.

Via Virtual Global Coaching
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