The human brain is wired to notice the bad stuff in life so it’s little wonder that managers often find themselves fire-fighting; watching out for the stuff that’s going wrong and trying to fix it, or worse still, trying to find out who is responsible. Before too long they find themselves so far down the blame culture road that their team is confined by their fear of making a mistake, and creativity and innovation is abandoned in a dusty lay-by.
There are certain things in the workplace that just seem to happen. The conference room is set up just the way we need it to be for the weekly team meetings, the monthly sales figures are always available on time so that the report can be compiled, the website has all the information about upcoming events. More often than not the only time these things come to light is when they’re not being done.
But what if we were to flip it on its head? What if, instead of looking out for what’s going wrong, managers start seeking out what’s going right, particularly the good stuff that normally goes unnoticed – what we at Goscar call ‘the invisible brilliance.’
Make it your business to find out who sets up the conference room, who compiles the monthly sales figures and who keeps the website up to date, and then start asking questions. What do they do that makes this happen? What helps them to stay on task? What skills do they have that could be developed and transferred elsewhere in the business? Is there anyone who would benefit from being mentored by them? Do they need a new challenge or opportunities?
If we are to make the most of the skills, talent, knowledge, creativity and innovation of our people we have to first recognise and acknowledge it and then figure out how to build and develop it. We have to seek out ‘the invisible brilliance.’