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The value of challenges 2-Challenges & quality of performance

While undertaking a journey, one may do different things to prevent roadblocks, so that the journey would proceed smoothly. These could range from identifying the best routes to your destination and planning the trip accordingly to offering prayers to your favourite deity before you set out on the journey.

But such actions are not always efficient in fool-proofing against roadblocks.

Some unexpected obstacle may crop up on the way. Sometimes such obstacles may be minor- things that could overcome in a short period, without causing significant delays to the journey. But there could also be obstacles which cause significant delays in the journey or even thwart it completely.

Regardless of the quality of the obstacle, it’s desired that such roadblocks don’t happen at all.

 

image4.jpgBetter physical resources like updated computers and servers aren’t all that are needed for improved quality of performance  

Raising the bar for quality of performance

An organization sets out on a journey once operations begin there. Of course, you could say that the journey actually begins long before that- when the idea for the organization is conceived in someone’s mind. That may well be so, but for the purposes of this article, let’s assume that the journey begins once it actually starts operating.

From there on, the organization may come across stumbling blocks from time to time. These blocks, as mentioned in the example of a road trip are rarely desired. In fact, strategic planners and leaders do their best to forecast things so that such blocks could be completely avoided- at least, as much as possible.

And that should rightly be so.

But there is a flipside to this phenomenon. This involves setting up stumbling blocks deliberately. No, it’s not meant that one should sabotage one’s own organization. Rather, what’s meant here is the virtue in setting up what could be termed as controlled obstacles.

These are projects that would help the change agents develop their skillset exponentially. In fact, you could say that these projects are the only way in which the skills could be developed in a particular, desired manner.

The beauty of meaningful challenges

Leaders and internal strategists who are involved in improving the quality of the workforce in the organization would do good to design such challenges which would confound  change agents- but not enough to dishearten them and turn away from the task. Rather, the challenge is only hard enough for them to be able to overcome it with a difficulty level that they find engaging but not a put-off.

As you may imagine, that’s a particular balance that’s hard to pull off.

But the curious fact about human nature is that perception plays a huge role in how to read a challenge. Even if a challenge is hard, it could be perceived as doable, provided the change agents see ample meaning in the activity.

To use a real world example, people may find shifting a boulder off its place possible if there is a child trapped in a groove underneath. On the other hand, if you were to walk up to them when no such situation exists and asks them to push off the boulder because it improves their stamina, they are bound to find the challenge just too much for the hassle. Chances are high- in this scenario- for them to just turn away from the challenge.

A vision-based approach to challenges

  

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In the example above, the child trapped in the groove is what lends meaning to the act of moving the boulder.

What could be the equivalent in an organization that would make a challenge meaningful enough for the change agents to attempt it? This is a question worth pondering because it stands to reason that finding that basis of meaning would make devising the right challenges that much easier. Thankfully, there’s no need to do anything drastic like putting a child in a groove under a boulder to find that.

Rather, what you should do is discover your True Personal Vision.

True Personal Vision is the vision that resides in your self and which could be found nowhere else. Unique and formidable, this vision acts as a destination you could guide your team or organization towards.

Temenos Vision Lab or TVL is a unique session developed by Temenos+Agility to help you realize your True Personal Vision. Using proprietary tools, TVL is conducted by some of the best leadership coaches in business with extensive experience in conducting transformative sessions.


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