What you are asking is impossible. Your team is stuck.
They think there is no practical solution. You have an “impossible” problem!
What should you do?
Our job, as leaders, is to get our teams to deliver results. And to do that, they must believe our goals are achievable. This belief is especially important when you are looking for results that have never been accomplished.
At Apple, Steve Jobs demonstrated this leadership style to perfection. His passion was called a “Reality Distortion Field”! But look at how often Apple delivered solutions that many of their competitors thought were impossible or not practical.
Remember the disdain which greeted the introduction of the iPhone? Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft mocked it as too expensive and of limited value. He liked his own strategy. Today, the iPhone dominates revenue and profit share in the smart phone market.
Mike Myatt over at Innovation Excellence, wrote an article on this, which title I loved: “It’s not impossible, it just hasn’t been done yet” .
I can relate with what Mike is saying.
My optimism makes it difficult for me to understand why others focus so much on the impediments to success, as a way to keep from trying. For me, it’s the opposite, impediments are challenges to be hurdled, they are what makes life so interesting.
We see many new and different views when we take a detour. The pictures come out better when taken from an unusual angle or when we climb over the rocks to acquire them. It’s the same with problem solving.
If it’s an impossible problem, if it is hard for us to solve, then the solution and results is harder for a competitor to replicate. And isn’t the aim of strategic problem solving to achieve differentiation and competitive advantage?
Mike says: “A leader’s job is to disrupt mediocrity – not embrace it, to challenge the norm – not embolden it, to weed out apathy – not reward it, and to dismantle bureaucracies – not build them.”
Leaders should build their own reality distortion fields for their teams.
Ask your teams to imagine a solution. If there was a solution, what would it look like? Work backwards from there. What would you have to do to get that solution in place.
And when you create your own reality distortion field, when you challenge your teams, you will transform that “IMPOSSIBLE” problem to an “I’m Possible” solution!