Birds in Bushes

…Gary Hamel, continued

So, the temptation to take refuge in denial must be overcome and Hamel gave some great ways to ensure that it happens. I had no idea when I blogged those notes yesterday morning that I’d have a chance to see them lived out during the day. The executive leadership from Wycliffe USA and from SIL International met together all day (something we are making a habit) and a simplified version of what we did together was that we engaged in battle against denial.
Hamel’s next point is that leaders who want to lead organizations and movements that are engaged and relevant in a culture that is changing at the speed of light is this:
2. Generate More Strategic Options
He instructed us to not hold so tightly to the bird in the hand — suggesting that one of the two or three in the bush might be a better option.
One of the illustrations he used to express this need for generating more strategic options comes from nature — oak trees and acorn. He said that most acorns are fully capable of producing an oak tree. The key is finding the right conditions for that to happen — the right soil, light, water, season combination. “Acorns are a search strategy.”
Then, among the examples he offered of how this is working today – in the age of social media and everyone having a voice – was Dell’s IDEASTORM.

As he gave other examples that I didn’t write down, Threadless came to mind — a t-shirt company that (among other things) makes and sells t-shirts that contain text from Twitter messages. People come to the site and vote on the ones that they’d wear and not wear each week and the winners are created and offered to the public for sale.
I started asking myself what I can do to open up the conversation to more people — in Wycliffe, for example. What would that look like? How could we make that work better than it does now?

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