I have not heard strategic planning sessions start this way: anything is possible. More often planning sessions start with: Something’s broken. We’ve got to fix this. We need to look at what is wrong. We are in real trouble and soon if we can not get this right. That is not correct. You are doing it wrong. The art of possibility is about the unrealized becoming the intentional.
It’s one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he’s leading to realize whatever he’s dreaming. Benjamin Zander
The art of possibility brings a view of what could be. What might be. A view of what is needed for achievement and motivation for the possibility.
The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful. Benjamin Zander
This TED video introduces conductor and music educator Benjamin Zander. Conducting was where I ran headlong into the challenge to motivate and the reality that, really, some people may not care as much as I do.
The conductor and performer. One with a vision of how it could be. Another with the technical skill to make it so. Working together to realize the music of a composer, often, no longer able to comment on intent or interpretation. In music, a business environment, or volunteer organization, the challenge is the shared motivation.
The habit of deficit-based thinking gets us into spiral of what is wrong. When we look, with our hammer, for things to fix then every interaction and process, all those nails, look right for a good hammering.
Someone standing behind me with a notebook analyzing what me or my team do wrong rarely leads me to open up to reveal ourselves to further autopsy.
Someone standing behind me with a notebook asking what me or my team do right more frequently leads me to open up and delve into where and how it is working.
It seems simple to just flip the coin, from tails, the negative, to heads, the positive. It is the same coin, but the art really is taking a conversation to what is possible. What is possible is motivating and motivation is the bottom line.
If you found the video interesting, here are 2 books you might enjoy.