Navigating by Compass or GPS

When we are trying to get to a place we have never been before, we can navigate there using a compass or GPS. While both tools require a clear destination, how you navigate to that destination is vastly different.

Over the last month, we have been digging into how we are going to work together to achieve some ambitious goals set by our president. At the start of our leadership retreat last week, Will Mills shared a powerful analogy that I have been thinking about all week. He said that we need to expect we will be navigating using a compass rather than GPS.

GPS needs well-traveled paths and roads and gives exact directions, while a compass only points directionally and requires much more awareness and flexibility. When we are trying to achieve results thatno one has ever done before, we will need to think about the process more like using a compass rather than GPS. 

The implications of that shift in mindset are profound. 

  1. We need to expect ambiguity and lots of unexpected peaks and valleys. 
  1. We need to be comfortable with messiness. 
  1. We cannot confirm our path by following our peers.  
  1. We need to accept that there are many ways to get there and be willing to explore different paths. 
  1. We need ways to quickly check the feasibility of a path. 
  1. We need to openly share the paths that did not work along with those that did work with our teammates.  
  1. We need to be supportive and kind to ourselves and each other as we try new things. 

Our leaders are asking us to create a new path forward. This is both thrilling and terrifying and I am inviting each of you to join us on the journey.

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