|Whether you are a founder, executive, friend or parent there are always moments of overwhelm and uncertainty.
When your nimble adrenaline-fuelled start-up company is beginning to creak and stall at it’s very moment of high growth.
When your once slick and energising professional day is feeling ridiculously busy yet somehow stagnant.
When your family life feels rushed and full of daily mini-battles.
When essentially your groove has become a rut.
What do you do?
Think endlessly about the problems themselves?
Rehash what has gone wrong?
Plan what needs to change?
This is called “single-loop thinking”: thinking in depth about a situation and the problems inherent in it and how to overcome them.
It can be effective but often it’s relatively short-term and unsustainable.
And you may find you are just burrowing deeper and deeper into that rut.
To make a real change shift instead to “double-loop thinking”: thinking about your thinking.
Bore down to a deeper level.
Study your own thinking about the situation: your thought patterns, your assumptions, biases and beliefs.
How does your thinking actually exasperate and deepen the situation?
What might happen if you changed your thinking instead of trying to change the problem?
Examine your thinking not the problem.
Exhibit One: Single loop thinking.
You are overworked.
You lament how much is in your diary, how incompetent everyone else is.
You take a holiday and then hire an executive assistant.
You are still busy all the time.
Exhibit Two: Double-Loop thinking
You are overworked.
You take a step back and look at your thoughts. You realise that you think no one else can do what you do as well you do it: so you do everything. You also think being busy is an achievement in itself.
You stop micro-managing: your staff step up.
You delegate, cancel, trim all meetings.
You are free.
Back to Einstein:
“A problem cannot be resolved from the consciousness from which it was created”.
So take a step back, put your own thinking on the table and not just the problem, learn and then move forward.
Into that groove