Finding new sources of inspiration

Binoculars on the Empire State Building

Having centred ourselves and made clear sense of our situation, the third step of Inner Leadership is to identify our potential alternative ways forward.

We could do this by looking at the strategic and operational alternatives. But in a time of change, all ways forward are likely to be difficult. The strategic and operational options that worked well in the past won’t necessarily work in the future. Thomas Edison did not invent the light bulb by looking for better ways of making candles.

In times of change, new opportunities will be emerging all the time. We won’t find them by applying our existing mindsets. We have to think differently.

Success is most likely to come from whatever generates the greatest levels of enthusiasm and inspiration — in our customers, employees, and investors. And in ourselves to want to get up every morning to make it happen.

Therefore it makes sense to look first for the inspiration that lies at the heart of inner leadership.

This third step of Inner Leadership is all about innovation and ideation. It’s about shifting our focus away from, “How shall we respond?” towards “What do we most want to create? What will most inspire and emotionally engage me and my key stakeholders?”

Once we know the answer to that, then we can think about how best to achieve it.

In times of change, the best way to identify alternative ways forward is not by strategising ever more deeply about the way the world used to work but by using the tools of Chapter 3 to find new inspiration for the way the world could be.

What inspires you most about what you are working on today? What would happen if you inspired yourself (and other key stakeholders) even more?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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