Thinking Well Outside of the Box

7 June 2018

The internet is awash with information on change management, a google search offers up over 1.15 billion results! Regardless of the abundance of information; the vast majority of the population continues to struggle with managing change; we find ourselves locked into old styles of thinking to solve increasingly complex problems.

The Agriculture Industry in Australia is no stranger to complexity. Our country is built on generations of farmers who continually find paths to overcome adversity; to survive and at times even thrive.

The industry is fundamental to our existence in Australia yet many of us will never really understand the hardship, fear and exhaustion that those who work on the land experience year after year. Farmers are plagued by climate variations, market volatility, changing consumer trends, global disruptions as well as AgTech impacts – the work is relentless, and building resilience and creativity is a necessity to succeed in this environment.

Creativity – The Key to Success

At Change2020 we partner with businesses to help them to identify ways to think differently to respond to change, to solve complex problems; how to think outside of the box, or better still, create their own box! Creativity is key and John Fairley, seventh generation farmer working on Fairley Farms has come up with a novel and creative solution to save the family farm. Drought means the paddocks are dry with no grass available for feed; purchasing hay at $4,000+ per week is required to just sustain the 130 cows; an unsustainable cost.

ABC’s The 7.30 Report tells a story of thinking well outside of the box! Inspired by a Seinfeld scene when Kramer tells Gerry that he has ‘adopted a mile of a highway’, John Fairley decided to adopt out his 130 cows; within an hour of posting the adoption opportunity on the Fairley Farm’s Facebook page, he had raised $5,500 in committed adoption funds and he says with emotion welling up ‘I think this just might work’.

Building Creative Behaviours

Creativity emerges from the interconnections of ideas, experiences, and imagination.

  • Find your Tribe: connect, chat and collaborate with people who will test, challenge and lobby with you; they share your vision and enthusiasm but often have different ideas and perspectives
  • Get Curious: ask questions, lots of them, seek information and knowledge on topics unfamiliar to you; challenge common wisdom and thinking
  • Create Boundaries: set yourself some guidelines, time, resources, budget and generate solutions to solve a problem; boundaries drive diverse thinking
  • Accept Failure: failure is a precursor to success; failure results from trying; trying new and different approaches; trying to solve complex problems with creative solutions. If you are not failing, you are not trying hard enough!
  • Love Learning: observe, listen, write, reflect; take in as many learnings as you can (daily); store them away, you will be amazed at what you can recall when you need to look at a problem or opportunity from a different perspective

At Change2020 we help individuals and organisations to embrace uncertainty and ambiguity and to find opportunity within the change. We work with people to foster creativity, to think differently and to proactively tackle complexity and unfamiliar situations. To find out more about our approach and how we can help you to integrate the five behaviours into your working patterns, get in touch with us here.

Kerryn Fewster

Kerryn is the Founder and Director of Change 2020. She has consulted extensively in the area of Transition and Transformation. She places emphasis on strategy development and solution implementation to minimise people and operational impacts associated with major change.

Other Posts You May Be Interested In

Let Go!

Let Go!

I am reminded of the lyrics sung by Brian Cadd – “let go, it ain’t worth it if it hurts you.” I grew up listening to my parent’s music and this one has stood the test of time (in my humble opinion). I reference it because of its relevance to our way of working and our...

read more
Be Prepared: Get on the Front Foot of Workforce Resilience

Be Prepared: Get on the Front Foot of Workforce Resilience

In the first part of our series, we provided an overview of the COVID-19 impact on the mental health of the Australian workforce. In our discussion today, we focus on how you can prepare your workplace to become “resilient-ready” and get on the front foot of your...

read more