For about a decade in my 20s, I finally had an opportunity to chase my childhood dream of being in the Olympics. Being a very competitive diver, I moved to Florida to train with one of the best coaches in the country.
In the first week of training my coach began practice by saying, "for the remainder of the week, you guys will do all your twisting dives in your opposite direction." TWISTING BACKWARDS?!?
Not wanting to offend this world-class coach, I muttered very quietly, "Are you out of your mind, i know how to twist, its my best dive, why on earth would i want to switch something I have done so well for years?!?"
I suffered, stumbled, wobbled, smacked, failed...well you get the point. At first it was a shock to the system, but slowly I focused. Methodically, I broke the skill set down to the absolute basics, stripped away all the habits I had formed, stripped away all the excess and examined the core skills of twisting. A week later I was allowed to go back to my natural twisting direction and the difference was evident from the first dive.
Could your organization or company benefit from twisting backwards? How often do you look at your current processes? How often do you strip away the bad habits, the bloated SOP, the "its how we have always done it" mentality?
For those that have embraced the fear and stepped backwards in the name of progress, PLEASE share your stories with the other readers. Drop a comment or TrackBack to your own blog with your stories of your success with deconstruction.
Remember - the person that consistently goes about their safe, never-changing routine may avoid facing the adversity of a belly flop, BUT they will most certainly never taste the sweetness of a Gold Medal performance.