Let’s start with an overview of what this approach is all about. Remember, what we’ll be describing is a form, not a formula. Blues music is a form, not a formula. There is an inherent structure in blues music. Each blues songwriter uses this form to create their unique music. The form doesn’t limit the artist. Rather, the form allows the artist to have a sense of focus. So too is the form of Getting Results! It’s a way of focusing our stories, emotions, behaviors, choices and competencies. So while we’ll overview the phases, remember they are simply placeholders for the focus of our efforts.
What results do we truly want? I’ve engaged with people that believe that the top wants – a super-fulfilling professional life, a loving, secure relationship – all sorta come deus ex machina – like god coming down and rescuing us by making these things happen. They don’t just happen. I’m frequently coaching senior executives in career transition. They feel that they don’t want to do what they’ve been doing professionally. They profess to have no idea of what would be truly satisfying. And yet, they really do know if you can strip away all the layers and the “can’t do”, “must do” stories they’re telling themselves. In fact, I’ve adopted a name for these negative stories. Let’s call them “musterbations”. The turbare genesis of the term literally means “to stir up”. Musterbations stir up all kinds of “to do” stuff that really has little bearing on what we really want to create. With conception, we take the time to really consider what you want. To envision how the end result will be for you.
THIS IS NOT PROBLEM SOLVING! People that are problem solving most often are making something go away (the problem) or something that’s not working be modified to something that’s working better. Getting results is about bringing something into being – creating something new. When I started my company, I wanted to create an organization. I didn’t want to just move to another job.
This conception period should be introspective and not intuitive. The description for what you want to create should be probed, thought about and explored. That doesn’t mean that it has to take weeks or months. It does require a high degree of focus. It requires making sure we can envision what the end results look like and how we’ll feel when we’ve created them. It requires us to be truly honest and get our gremlins out of the way. For me, I know I’ve conceived the creation I want when I know I’ll be proud of my accomplishments once I’ve achieved the results. So, for example, I’m creating a new lead generation and qualification process for the company I work for. I’ll be proud when it’s working to deliver high-quality leads with low risk of selling them as clients. What I want to create is a super lead program. The problem I want to solve is no leads or, at best, poorly qualified leads. I’m much more motivated by the former than I could ever be by the latter. The former requires me to really envision my whole creation, like a painting or a song. The latter drives me to create a list of things “to change” about the current process. My passion is in creating. My task list would be in changing.
This aspect is closely related and may be somewhat intertwined with conception. Once we have a conception of the results we want, we spend time playing with the vision. We add further details and dimensions to our concept. So, with my creating a new lead process, I begin to give some dimensions to what would make a perfect lead. I start reflecting on what might attract interest in us and how to best reach them. Some may use the term “brainstorming” for this phase of the creative approach. If brainstorming works, then have at it. If there’s other ways of using other techniques, use them too. Anything that allows you to bring into even clearer focus works. I frequently make sure I can answer the “who, what, when, where, how” types of questions before I move forward. This is a time to play with your concept. Does it stand up to further scrutiny? Is it really something that you’re choosing because you really believe in the merits of the creation and not because you felt it was a “good idea”. Believe me, when I started my company, I didn’t do it on instinct or impulse. I did it because of its potential merits and not because it seemed like a good idea.
Don’t feel badly if this visioning causes you to go back to conceiving. The best creations are ones that are well and truly visited and thought through. Contrast again with the problem/solution approach. Frequently, the formula is to define the problem and then to immediately list and agree on steps to fix the problem. There’s little or no time spent on whether the fixes will really make for the best solution. Visioning is a time for testing and vetting the end results. It is not a time to start listing next steps to make your conceived creations take shape.
We have a few more to go to complete our overview. However, the next requires a post all its own. It’s the heart and soul of being a createer. So we’ll save it for the next post and explore it more fully. Until then, start conceiving on what you’d like to create. I have four or five that I’m working on including the marketing creation I mentioned in this post. Spend a little time reflecting. Spend a little less time just doing. I guarantee you’ll start to feel differently. You’re starting to tell yourself new and exciting stories.