Flashback Covid lockdown in Mar-April 2020… we were craving for muhammara – the tasty middle Eastern dip.
I don’t love cooking, yet I am a good cook when I decide to…
The craving was so intense, I decided to give it a shot. I looked for recipes, I had all ingredients except pomegranate molasses. There was no chance of getting one at a time when even the essentials were scarce.
I thought of using honey and lemon instead of molasses…Oh no! I wasn’t ready to experiment (didn’t want to hurt my image!!)
My hunt for alternate recipes began – I went on for hours till I managed to find one that suggested an alternate. Guess what?? Lemon and jaggery.
So, finally I made the muhammara, and I must say it turned out yummy…
Why was I so reluctant to try something outside of a recipe?
Guess, it was my fear of failure without the safety net of a recipe. I might have made a tasteless muhammara even with pomegranate molasses – but I would have something to save my honor…a poor recipe that I followed.
Let’s take it a step further to our work and preferences – While working on a task or an important project, will I take a conventional or an unconventional approach?
The project may fail either way, but which failure is less daunting?
Conventional, right? I follow the process, the norms, use all prescribed tools… yet I fail. So, the failure is not about me, but the approach.
On the contrary, when I fail using an unconventional approach, there’s all but me to blame! I would have to take accountability of my failure.
So, the openness to fail conventionally (over unconventionally) is understandable. Yet, what does it mean – our lives? work? organizations?
The implications are well captured in a quote by Albert Einstein “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”
Question for organizations is to reflect: what can be done by leaders / managers / teams to break the comfort in conventional..