Kyle Hermans Innovation Consulting at Synecticsworld

Kyle Hermans, Principal Synecticsworld

By Kyle Hermans

Kyle Hermans is the Senior Director of Innovation Capacity at Gap Inc. Global, he headed the West Coast division of Synecticsworld at the time of this article.

Business is a goal’s based world, and goals are creating real tangible changes that drive growth.  So, before you drive time and energy into achieving this change, analyze what it is you are trying to change.

Recently, I’ve been giving talks incorporating Neuro-Linguistic Programming, especially around the idea of things that you’re moving towards & the things that you’re moving away from.

Both “away from” and “towards” are motivational directions:  If you DON’T want something in your life (i.e. away from), that’s a motivation for you to do something.  And if you DO want something in your life (i.e. towards), that’s also a motivation for you to do something, this is not an easy thing to understand, we recommend reading the iNLP Center review to learn more about motivation.

But, the thinking, the motivation behind them, the way that makes you behave, and the likelihood of success, are not the same.

AWAY STATE:  In an “away” state,  the more that you say you don’t want something, the more that motivates you to move away from it.  But, gradually, as you move further and further away, your fear/motivation drops as you hit this kind of more relaxed sort of state… “Phew, I’m far enough away from that to feel safe” and then the pressure eases off.   As the pressure eases off you tend to slip slowly back towards the thing you were moving away from, until you get close enough that the fear/motivation kicks back in, in a self perpetuating cycle.  Remember –

Worrying is praying for failure

TOWARD STATE:  It’s a very different type of approach to be motivated by something that you really want.  If you’re motivated by something you want, you’ll keep pushing forward towards it, as opposed to worrying about what you don’t want.

It is the idea of you either being the oppressed or the oppressor; and that happens a lot in markets as well:  I’m either at the effect of things that are happening to me as a brand or as a team, or I’m the one that’s implementing an effect on others.

Start to look at the motivational tools: What are we moving towards? And what are we moving away from?

  • Write it down
  • Speak it out

How do you reframe the language from an “away-from” piece to a “toward” goal?  It is  almost like setting future context:

“I don’t want the competition to take our market share”

So what do I want to do instead?

“I want to stay ahead of the game, I want to be Number 1 in the market.”

That’s a very different type of motivation: In that language, teams automatically start to think differently about how to go after that.  It’s defense vs. offense.  The reframe of that is, “We are creating more of an offensive strategy” (in that language).  And at the same time building some defensive into that:  “Here is how I can build up some more space or more distance, get stronger in this particular goal, how I can align the team.”

Look at the things that you want:  start thinking about where you want to be as a company.  It’s okay to say, “Why are we doing this in the first place? For what purpose? What’s the big purpose?”

The next action is to continually set measurable steps forward…foresight.  Even if you don’t know where you might go, it’s about planning to achieve what you are moving towards.  So what do you want?  Create. Change!



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