Headbanger’s Rule #9: Adapt and Thrive

In 1984, Def Leppard Drummer Rick Allen was in a terrible car accident in which he lost is left arm. While his arm was fundamentally critical to his profession, he remained in the band – and one of the best drummers in the Heavy Metal universe – by using a customized drum set built to accommodate his new physical limitation. When we lose something that is so much a part of who we are, even when we are dependent upon it for our survival, we can adapt and thrive by creatively responding to the new circumstances of our lives.

Constructive Creativity

I love being creative and engaging in spaces where anything and everything is possible. Yet, sometimes this can be overwhelming and lead to a sense of frustration rather than liberation. When the ultimate goal is to make a decision or perform an action, constructive creativity may be useful.

Constructive creativity is a way to be effectively innovative. Using this method, the area of inquiry is clearly defined. This process can require a bit of time for discussion and reflection. A common understanding of what is to be investigated is fully articulated. From that common starting point, the creative journey begins. This way, the exploratory process is focused on the specific goal of the creative endeavor and the time invested is directed toward results.

Manage Things, Not People

As leaders, we often also have management responsibilities. I think it is important to remember that we should manage things rather than people.

We can manage money, time, processes, and projects so that our goals and objectives are achieved.   Interactions with other people on the team should consist of guidance, support, encouragement, and access to information and resources. It is not usually necessary to tell others what to do or how to do it; however, agreements about behavior can be developed through dialogue. Shifting management from people to things keeps us focused on our goals; it challenges us to always think of process and project outcomes rather than the minutiae of specific activities. It also creates space for freedom of expression, creativity, and innovation.

I have also found that some people have been conditioned to desire specific direction in their work. Others may not be a good fit for their job or the organization and therefore detailed instructions, if not termination, are required. By getting to know each individual employee, we can determine how to best support and lead each person so that they can realize both their human potential and organizational goals.

The new, new counterculture

The new, new counterculture is shifting our focus

From dialectical to cooperative

From material to spiritual

From critical to creative

From confrontational to compassionate

The new, new counterculture does not forget the old ways, but rather incorporates them into a greater whole.

How have you experienced the new, new counterculture in your work and in your life?

The Unlearning Organization

In the unlearning organization, everything we have ever taken for granted is questioned, dissected, or discarded. Our knowledge, assumptions, and beliefs are in motion.

In the unlearning organization, there are no bad ideas and mistakes are inevitable. There is continual creativity, ingenuity, and risk.

In the unlearning organization, there is limitless possibility. People are liberated from the past, from the future, and most importantly from themselves.

In the unlearning organization, satisfaction and complacency are unknown. The ultimate goal is to fully experience the joy of each moment as it unfolds.

Balancing Continuity and Creativity

Continuity connects us to our past. It makes us feel secure and grounded. It adds an element of familiarity and predictability to life which is reassuring.

Creativity is our future. It is the unknown emergent possibility. It is surprising, fun, and exciting.

The present is the fulcrum that balances continuity and creativity, balancing the weight of each.

We experience continuity and creativity in our lives both separately and simultaneously. They both support and oppose each other. The new cannot be understood without the context of the old. The old holds spaces for the new to materialize through disintegration or disconnection.