How to draw an alien – a lesson in change reticence

//How to draw an alien – a lesson in change reticence

How to draw an alien – a lesson in change reticence

According to professor Thomas Ward, if you ask a bunch of people to draw an alien the majority of them will present you with something looking like this. However, commonsense tells us that if mankind were ever to detect alien life the chances are that the alien would look anything but like a human.  And yet, because cinema once created an image of an alien with human like features, we tend to follow the norm and depict them that way. And so it is that once something has been invented, we tend to find it almost impossible to invent radical redesigns, but get stuck in cycles of minor modifications. This process is known as inadvertent plagiarism.

Professor Ward’s findings go a long way to explain the extremely slow pace of change in business environments. At times our nineteenth century notion of what a company is, how it is structured, managed and developed seems impossible to shake off. We seem only able to very gently modify their constructions.  Relatively small adjustments, like centralizing or decentralizing processes are still seen in many organisations as radical changes.

The internet too, is taking much longer than one would expect to change even the basics of our traditional distribution and retail structures, where the price we pay in the shop is over six times the original manufacturing cost, and the entity that proportionally the least is often the producer.

Therefore, if we are to expect our existing personnel to re-design our existing structures then we must, at the very least, try to inspire them to think the seemingly unthinkable. And when they do come up with something extremely radical then we need to take them very seriously, if genuine innovation has even the slightest chance of breaking through. After all, nature only advances through a series of errors and therefore we need to encourage errors if we are to advance at all.

My advice for your next brainstorming session is to begin by drawing an alien and to paste the results on the wall.  The artist whose work is furthest away from ET, should not only be given a prize, they should also be encouraged to lead the creative process from there on!

I am off to re-draw my alien, only then will I begin to tackle a distribution process I am struggling with at the moment.

Have a good week,

Harley

2016-11-17T08:23:32+00:00 0 Comments

About the Author:

Harley is a dynamic ‘we can do this’ kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time.

Harley is a motivational ‘people person’ who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery.

Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches,
Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; ‘The Change Manager’s Handbook’, ‘Transition’, ‘Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvaATmb9_zg

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