In our work, we commonly encourage
leaders and teams to “own the ugly”
around their readiness to leverage
industry shifts. To launch and guide
those candid, yet difficult conversations
about your team’s readiness to embrace
change, try our road-tested script using a
simple acronym for UGLY:
WHAT ARE WE
You may understand the shifts occurring
in your field, but are you underestimating
The truth is, even if you feel insulated
from what’s occurring in the industry,
eventually, some aspect of this trend will
affect you. Tech-readiness is a mindset
and worldview that sustainable, inclusive
communities will become the desired
Where can this trend impact your team
and organization? Where do you need
to pay closer attention? You may be
discounting the trend toward smart
infrastructure because it’s expensive,
but public/private partnerships are
increasingly bridging that gap. Consider
this: Are your competitors ahead of you
in establishing such partnerships?
You can’t afford to underestimate real
threats to your market position—
especially when they’re threats that you
can take steps to mitigate.
To make room for innovation, you have
to get rid of the policies, practices and
procedures that hold it back.
What are you doing now that doesn't
make sense anymore in the face of rapid
demographic change in America’s top
markets? What processes are more habit
than value? What meetings are wasting
What has simply gotta go for you to
have the time, energy and resources
to focus on what matters most to
stay competitive in the era of smart
infrastructure? The time to ask these
questions around tech-readiness is
now—not just in your industry, but in
WHERE ARE WE
Mapping out a change strategy and
following through on those plans can be
a monumental effort. But what happens
when you do everything “right” and still
fail to move the needle on innovation in
your team? Well, then it’s time for the
gloves to come off—all the way off.
Ask yourself the hard questions.
Where are you still under-performing
despite your best efforts and why?
Who is doing it better and how?
Most importantly, what systems and
partnerships must evolve to support
your change effort?
Adapting and learning to thrive within
a monumental industry shift isn’t easy.
But to quote one our mentors, if it was
easy, any idiot could do it. Set yourself
apart from the people in your industry
who are waiting for change to happen
to them, instead of because of them.
WHERE ARE WE
MISSING THE YES?
What research, projects and
partnership must you say "yes" to in
2017? What new opportunities are
ripe for your attention? Where must
you invest before your competitors
You know you can’t afford to stand
still and wait for the light bulb to go
off when it comes to developing your
approach to leveraging the smart
infrastructure trend. You’ve got to go
after what it is you most want and need.
Say “yes” to sticking your neck out
there a little. Affirm your commitment
to pushing your industry forward
and you’ll be rewarded. Not just with
favorable public relations, but with
the knowledge that you’re making
a real difference for this country’s
communities and for the global
environment at large.
Always remember why you got into this
industry. Of all the alternatives available
to you, you chose to build and connect
people and resources to one another.
You know that contributing to smart
infrastructure is a powerful way to take
those connections to the next level.
Own the ugly that’s holding you and
your team back from embracing your
industry’s trend toward tech-readiness.
Any step you take in this direction will
deepen the human connections that
are the lifeblood of our economy and
national spirit. J
Karin Hurt and David Dye are seasoned
management experts and co-authors of the
award-winning book, “Winning Well: A
Manager’s Guide to Getting Results Without
Losing Your Soul.” For a free Winning Well
Toolkit, visit www.winningwellbook.com.