Inspiring Innovation and Change is Intervening
Each interaction that we partake in throughout the day is at some degree an intervention. It is an intervention because we are introducing new things (e.g., our selves, our ideas, emotions, thoughts, opinions) to the person or groups of people around us. We intervene. We inflict thoughts onto others and introduce them to pathways they otherwise would not have taken. An intervention is an action of intervening and can be defined as altering results or course of events and preventing something from happening.
Delving into this, almost daily we take part in something grand. Grand because we either alter someone’s future or he or she alters our future! Every new person we meet, each opinion that we express, each conversation we hold, every meeting we attend, and even every Tweet, LinkedIn, or Facebook status post. Even this post… you get the picture being drawn here. Interactions we experience such as meeting a new person, exploring new ideas, expressing thoughts we long repressed, or going against the grain, each alter at least our own futures.
Essentially we should say, “I did not think of that this much before” more often.
What about the questions we ask in staff meetings, board meetings, class, survey, poll, or any other place where we can ask someone a question? Priming are we?
In the consulting realm, before a contract begins a consultant has already intervened in many ways. Just having the initial meeting (phone or in person) the client has already spent extra time thinking about the problem or idea a little more and created new ways of describing it. The questions that the consultant asks alter the decisions made or the way of client sees the problem at hand. Is the consultant asking the question because it is something they should have paid attention to or because that topic is fairly important? Now it may be very much important when before the conversation it never even existed. The consultant creates a survey or holds a focus group – this is inspiration/innovation central! No wonder these interventions work. The questions consultants create or choose to ask all intervene just as much as the actual change, innovation, training, or organizational restructuring does. Remember, the intervention can be good or bad. It can prevent something or simply alter it. When a consultant inquires about everyone’s business and does a poor job executing the initiative, he or she leaves behind a lot of angst in the organization. This intervention just paved the way for the company’s future and their future endeavors with other consultants. Consultants must sometimes be careful what kind of intervention they bring to the table. They want to leave the client with better knowledge on how to solve problems and new skill sets that they can independently use in the future, not trembling over all of the new ideas and problems they may have sprung on them.
Taking a business trip soon? Spend some time getting to know the person sitting next to you and you may embark on something you did not want to prior to then. All of the sudden, due to the conversations and questions we hold, we place new ideas to the forefront of our mind. Just what kind of interventions can we make by being social or interacting with one another?
I guess let’s take a moment and thank all of those people who may have, inevitably, made a change in our life, good or bad.