Hope is not a strategy – but it helps…

Chris Mathieson sharing Teaming by Amy C. Edmondson

Chris Mathieson shared her reflections on leadership that had been prompted by her time at Harvard University in 2018.

Chris is the CEO of Expression Australia and told us that the top professors at Harvard Business School use the phrase "hope is not a strategy" to challenge CEOs and senior managers in their strategy and leadership thinking and assumptions.

The caring professions are all about hope, but we need both the vision of where we want to be and the organisational scope and processes for getting there. The blend is important.

And of course, it's so easy to get caught up in the doing that we forget what we were trying to achieve in the first place. Time to imbue a little hope back into the process.

Some gems from Chris' chat...

Hope is based on what's possible but not improbable.

  1. Hope is  a combination of real world experience and the intangible nature of trust. It recognises the reality that failure happens.
  2. Hope and optimism go hand-in-hand and together they can solve wicked problems.
  3. Learn and understand what failure is, create a safe environment and don't just focus on the broken bits.

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute. - George Bernard Shaw

Chris also shared inspired reading resources:

  • Teaming is a verb, full circle leadership, and other great leadership lessons ("Teaming: How organisations learn, innovate and compete in the knowledge economy" by Amy C. Edmondson)
  • Worthy leaders find and use white space to be deeply present, they illuminate dilemmas and act as path finders ("The Worthy Leader: From Potential to Mastery" by Maryanne Mooney)

The topic generated fabulous and far ranging discussion around the table, including how to teach optimism with gratitude practices. Each person accepted the challenge to try one of the ideas discussed.

What are you grateful for today? Share your thoughts with someone else and ask them the same question.

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