6 Conditions For A Successful Discovery
February 8, 2023
The Power Of How® is an approach that can be used to facilitate any outcome, be it making a cup of tea or transforming a global organisation. It always starts with your Intent, however from there, the process is not linear, and you may find yourself moving through the phases in an iterative way that serves your Intent.
Intent is all about focussing on your end-goals. It is knowing what you want to be different for you, your people, your organisation, and your customers.
Discover is understanding where you are and why, being curious about where people, teams and organisations are, and surfacing the gaps that exist between what they say and what they do.
Connect is about building the bridges between the say-do gaps and your Intent, doing things differently and taking small steps forwards.
Balance is about taking this new-found capacity and bringing it to life, with accountability and authenticity!
Momentum is about scaling and spreading this energy and generating a self-sustaining pace. Bounce back is real and will be alive throughout, so support is necessary, and course corrections can be made at any time.
Discovery sheds light on the journey to achieving your Intent
Your Intent is the light by which you navigate your journey of transformation. With your torch of Intent shining brightly into the distance, you can see your surroundings vividly, helping you navigate your journey of transformation.
Taking the first step into the unknown isn’t easy, particularly when the ‘right direction’ isn’t clear yet. That's why Discover is a crucial step in your journey towards the light of Intent. By examining the landscape in which you currently find yourself, and being honest about where you are, you can start moving forward in a targeted and sustainable way to reach your personal or business outcomes. Having an Intent is one thing, and using this light you can Discover the opportunities that are around you, piecing them together as it serves your Intent and the outcome.
What does Discover mean?
Discover means being curious. How did I get to this place, and what can I see around me? Discover doesn’t mean having a quick skim of your notes before an exam and hoping it will be fine. It means taking the time to connect with what’s been going on, both internally and externally.
What does Discover look like?
Think of Discover as the start point of a journey. After carefully crafting your Intent, you know where the end point is and to have the best chance of getting there, we now need to line up at the start and have a look around us.
We can get curious and ask questions like who’s successfully travelled this way before? What clothing do we need to wear? Who’s apprehensive about this journey? This process will uncover where people are and begin to surface any gaps between where you are and where you want to get to. Various conditions can be useful to consider here:
Condition #1: Confidentiality
Taking the time to explore thoughts and feelings in a confidential context is important as this can inform how people might be showing up. For example, at Broadleaf, this might look like a confidential Power Of How® conversation where we would engage with people individually in a non-directive way.
Condition #2: Psychological Safety
Creating a safe space fosters trust and curiosity, which can allow for openness and exploration without judgement.
Condition #3: Perspective
Taking a step back and looking at a situation from someone else’s perspective can help us to see things in a new way and shed light on our say-do gaps.
Condition #4: Context
It’s important to look at the wider picture to steer us toward our Intent. What external factors might be at play here? Who has been successful before? These sorts of questions can be a helpful indicator as you move forwards.
Condition #5: Time
What is the timeframe? How long until we can start? And then how long from start to finish? These conditions might provide some data which can be used to inform the next phase, Connect.
Condition #6: Looking ahead to Connect
What say-do gaps have we noticed and how big are they? How far away are people from the Intent? The answers to these questions show us the first steps to be taken.
Data / how to collect data
Data is a good way of anchoring your Discovery experience either quantitatively or qualitatively. For example, at Broadleaf we use technology to collect data showing how capacity has varied over a period of time. For a personal journey, a journal documenting thoughts and feelings at different stages could be useful to reflect on. This is important as it can be used when looking for patterns, links and curating themes when moving into Connect.
Link between Discover & Intent
Intent and Discover serve each other symbiotically. Our Intent creates a North Star that we can always see in the corner of our eye. In Discovery, the light from that North Star shows us where to look. This journey we’re going on does not move in a straight line and likewise our progress won’t be linear. It could be that, having done some Discovery work, you realise that the Intent you have set needs further clarification.
For example, if your Intent was to climb mount Everest in 6 weeks, Discover might tell you that you need to find out what you will need, how fit you are, etc. Within an organisation, the Intent may be to transform the culture to a place where people are engaged, productive and feel valued. This would mean that in Discover we would need to find out how safe people feel, is there trust and authenticity? How strong are the relationships between people and how are differences in opinion handled? You can see from crafting the Intent, it immediately creates Discovery questions that need to be answered.
Crucially, this process seeks to uncover themes and any emerging say-do gaps. A say-do gap is the difference between what we say and what we do and they are everywhere and exist for all of us. The issue with say-do gaps is that they can lead to us avoiding our own accountability, and finding excuses not to move forward. Ultimately, say-do gaps erode trust when they show up in others.
Discover in the context of The Power Of How®
What would happen if you skipped Discovery? It would be like walking into the darkness with your torch turned off. Sounds scary, right? You might stumble in the right direction, and if you’re lucky get closer to your journey’s end. However, it’s likely to be a long frustrating road and more often than not you will end up back where you started.
Creating the map for your journey
Discover serves to find some light in the darkness. In this way, on your journey of Discovery you may notice light in places of the landscape you hadn’t considered before. How exciting! This is an opportunity to take a step back and put your torch down for a moment. How could you refine your Intent based on this new found clarity?
When you feel like your perspective has been appropriately adjusted, you can start to group different aspects of your Discovery work into themes that will serve and have an impact on your Intent. With everything you find in Discover, it is a good step to consider how this could be different, whether it’s serving you well, identifying how things could be done differently or finding areas that need some support. Prioritising these spots of light can create bigger patches of light that you can begin to connect towards your north star as you move forward.
Working on an intent
The next article on our journey through The Power Of How® is Connect, where we can start using what we have discovered and any say-do-gaps to identify levers and steps that individuals, teams and the organisation can use to move towards meeting their Intent.