I’m not a treadmill person, and I don’t understand why someone would want to walk and walk and walk and never get anywhere. Perhaps it’s because a goal is more measurable on a treadmill; walk a certain distance and a particular speed and be guaranteed to burn a precise amount of calories. I know it works for many, but a treadmill is one of the fastest ways to kill my motivation for a cardio workout.
It’s the going nowhere that turns me off. So much sustained effort spent counting and measuring. Give me the outdoors where I can look at the world instead of a digital number on a screen. Give me sprawling paths and spacious trees to wander and run through to get my heart pumping. Give me fresh air and the scents of nature to fuel my creativity and motivation.
We all have something we turn to for motivation. Something that stirs our hearts and sends energy pulsing through our veins.
And we’ve all experienced those moments, days and weeks where we expended an incredible amount of time and energy, only to find we were going nowhere. We kept trying over and over, only to end up with the same results or no results at all.
There’s a question team builders use frequently to stir a pot of stagnant minds caught in the rut of motion void of progress. We wait until just the right moment, when it appears interest is declining and motivation is lagging. When frustration is rising and the urge to walk away and give up is peaking.
And then we ask and wait for the confused expressions.
“What’s the difference between process improvement and innovation?”
Process improvement is doing the same thing over and over, trying to make improvements along the way and expecting new results. Process improvement most often leads to the same results. And although there are often occasions for improving on a process, we have to be aware when process improvement becomes the spinning of wheels. When this happens, motivation withers quickly, and we find ourselves on an endless treadmill, expending time and energy and never really reaching our goal.
Innovation is thinking outside of the box. It’s being willing to toss out what we thought would work in light of trying something completely new. Innovation is a stretching beyond what’s tangible in order to create and experience something fresh, unique and exciting. Innovation fuels creativity and motivation.
Often our goals and dreams need to be subject to the same question. By asking this question, we have the opportunity to challenge our time, efforts and direction in order to get back on track and experience real and measurable results. An unlikely perspective, a different approach all together, a road less traveled, an idea beyond typical boundaries…that’s the beauty of innovation. It has no boundaries, no limits and no constraints.
Innovation is free to roam and explore and discover.
So the next time you find your motivation lagging and you feel like quitting, change things up completely by thinking outside of the box. Let go of process improvement and dive into innovation. What have you got to lose?
And if this question still stumps you, try asking it a different way…
What is the definition of insanity?
Maybe it’s walking on a treadmill.
Do you have a goal or dream you have been working toward and find yourself making little progress?
Are you working to improve the process instead of trying a completely new approach?
What does innovation look like in regards to achieving your goal?