My kids recently suggested that we all run the Sporting Life 10km race on Sunday May 12th so we could spend Mother’s Day together doing something good for our bodies, and good for the kids at Camp Oochigeas.
My first reaction was excitement! I loved the idea. My next reaction was fear. I hadn’t gone for a run in over a year … how was I ever going to be ready for a 10km run on May the 12th?! Then came the excuses … I don’t have enough time to prepare, who will look after the dogs, I am worried about posting a horrible time … my shoes are too old!
As I boarded this roller coaster of emotions, I realized that this is exactly the same ride that many organizations take as they decide to embark on building a culture of innovation.
At first everyone is very excited about the idea. But then faced with the reality of actually doing it, they are afraid. Excuses are prevalent … we don’t have the right people in place, we don’t have the budget for this right now … let’s wait until next fiscal.
I decided to take a small step and register for the race. It gave me a deadline. I had spent money to register so now I was financially invested. It helped, but I was also very aware that I could still back out.
Then on a cold, rainy Sunday morning I decided to try. I put on my old shoes, made sure my music was loud enough so I couldn’t hear myself heaving to breathe, pulled the brim of my cap down as far as I could … and I took the first few steps.
There was something about the positioning of my hat that made all the difference. I did it to shield my eyes from the rain, but it also forced me to only look at the concrete directly ahead of my feet … not at the horizon line!
When organizations decide to build a culture of innovation, they experience all of the same things, particularly looking too far ahead and not focusing on the here and now, one step at a time.
The run is in a couple of weeks. I am slowly getting ready by adding a tiny bit of distance every time I put on the old shoes. I am fairly certain it will be a long, tough run … I will let you know and post some pictures next month.
In the meantime, please know that you are not alone on your journey towards innovation. The fear and excuses may be rampant, and the weather inclement … so pull your brim down and focus on the next few steps ahead.
With love … and sore feet,