"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." Aldous Huxley
How do we improve results in any endeavor? Is there a formula? Over the years I have been fortunate enough to work with a lot of people who specialize in 'turning around' both individuals and organizations. Want to improve your results? If you recognize that doing the same thing and expecting different results is indeed insanity then you will turn to resources with a different perspective. There is an amusing story about the man who boasts of twenty years of experience as his claim to fame only for an insightful listener to ask him "Is that twenty years of experience or one year of experience repeated twenty times?" Many people and organizations repeat the same thoughts, attitudes, actions and behaviors over and over and call it experience. True that is experience, but it is not a growth experience and as the song says it's merely "same as it ever was". True growth experience involves getting out of this rut and turning to resources outside of "What We Know" If these resources are going to work they will challenge you to do something outside of what you think you know. They will provide a cognitive discomfort that will hold a mirror to your thoughts, actions and behavior and will force you to make a choice. You can choose to put down the mirror and turn back to your baseline of "what you know" or you can choose to gaze deeper into the reflected image of your attitudes, actions, circumstance and conditions and make changes. Whether it be for individual or organizational growth the formula is similar. Every resource available will follow essentially the same process of qualifying, questioning, listening, observing, evaluating, recommending and measuring your attitudes, actions, processes, habits and results and challenge you to change - Yes change. Each of them will recommend essentially the same course of action. Do the same things and get the same results or - Hold a mirror up to yourself and your current conditions then take consistent actions, which cause cognitive discomfort, to change those conditions. Then turn those actions into habits. If a resource doesn't do this you've merely found support for or someone to agree with "what you know". As human beings and organizations we gravitate toward those who validate our opinions, achievements and experiences when we might be better served to seek out those who hold a mirror up to our ego and challenge us to improve. So what's the bottom line? Learn this formula:
When we think we know - We Don't.