Commit to Answering, not Specific Answers

It's a foregone conclusion that the world is changing at a rapid pace. Culture changes, trends change, philosophies change, needs change... Organizations need to change too. 

One of the things I notice about leaders who navigate change effectively is that they commit to answering the right questions but they don't sell out indefinitely to a specific answer. 

For example, take the question: "How can we get someone from one place to another as efficiently and effectively as possible?" In the late 1800s, the best answer to the question was "horseback." But organizations that sold out to that specific answer were left in the dust once Mr. Ford's Model T came around in 1908. 

Organizations that made it were the organizations who stayed committed to answering the question. Organizations that failed to make it were the organizations who stayed committed to their specific answer. 

We've got to be good at asking the right questions, even when we are confident that the answer hasn't changed. Because with most of the things we do, someday the answer will change. The question won't change; the need won't change; the reason for an answer won't change; but the specific way we answer the question might, and we need to be ready. 


Kristen said...

This is a great post. I've worked for and with leaders who fall on both sides. Some who refuse to answer if they don't know all of the tiny details and others who answered hastily before having any details. Sometimes "I don't know the answer, but will find out and get back to you as soon as I do," is the best strategy of all.