Achieving Full Potential

I’ve frequently wondered what it would take to get organizations and the talented people in those organizations to achieve their full potential. As a consultant my observation would be that most people and organizations are performing well below that "full potential" level. Is getting close to full potential possible?

I was inspired by an article in Fast Company not too long ago about Google. Apparently "Google is different". There seems to be a spirit there that is not all that common. Google folks think that the work they are doing is really important; world changing stuff! And it sounds like it starts with the hiring process when this question is asked, "If you could change the world using Google’s resources, what would you build?" Wow! How many of us are challenging our people to think that big?

The article goes on to state that the really special thing about Google is that its been able to instill a sense of "creative fearlessness" – Wow again! In a world that seems to be starving for innovation, that would be a great culture to have in more organizations.

The article talks about the freedom and resources Google entrusts to its people and how that results in an unique sense of both possibility and obligation — resulting in people asking, "Are we taking advantage of what we’ve got here? Are we doing enough? Are we doing everything we can?" The article ends with the wonderful insight that these are "…thrilling questions, ones we all should ask more often."

I wonder if asking and answering those questions might just nudge us all a bit closer to achieving our full potential.

Jim Bolt * Chairman, Executive Development Associates * jbolt@executivedevelopment.com * www.executivedevelopment.com

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