Who isn’t familiar with this: You want to change something in the team or company and discuss it in a large group first, and you hear sentences such as:
“We can’t afford that.”
“We can’t do that because then ... will happen.”
“We’ll never get that past the board.”
Sentences such as these not only make life difficult for people who are creative enough to develop new ideas and have the courage to present them, they also show one thing in particular: These people are caught in a problem spiral. In the mid and long-term, this leads to more and more hurdles for creative people in a company and ultimately to thinking twice in the future about whether they want to push for a new idea. I’m sure I don’t need to list what this means terms of business losses for the respective company.
But what is the cause of this? Why do so many people in organizations arrive at problems faster than solutions? The reasons are probably as diverse as the people, however, there are certain recurring basic patterns that can be recognized. On one hand, it could be because an individual is very safety-oriented. As such, it is difficult for the person to be open to new ideas as the basic thought is that what they have known up to now is easier to assess. An additional factor could be the (company/department/team) culture. In a culture in which new ideas are on the daily menu, they are probably less quickly rejected than in cultures in which daily business is more about managing the current status quo. Moreover, it should not be underestimated that personal preferences can play an important role, even if these are readily swept under the carpet in daily company life. So, it’s only human that suggestions from colleagues who are also friends are given more of a chance than those from less well liked people.
The most important thing here is: Be honest with yourself and stay open minded! If you notice after honest self-reflection that the pattern for the past years has tended towards a rejecting stance, you should give yourself time for it. Try to continue to approach possible challenges, although, it is also helpful then to keep an alternative suggestion in your back pocket. Try in this way to train yourself to think in solutions!
And as in almost everything, here to: Practice makes perfect!