I recently re-read a book by the Heath brothers, Dan and Chip. If you haven’t read anything by them, you should. It’s high quality, easy reading.
In their book Switch, they talk about how to make changes. I’ve been rethinking one of the key ideas from that book, what they call Bright Spots.
The basic idea is this: When people are interested in making changes to their organization or to a certain process or to their life, they tend to focus on what is not working. Everyone’s natural inclination is to look at the problem areas and try to change those.
Instead, the Heath brothers argue, focus on bright spots. Find out where things are working well, and then seek to understand why they are working well.
Andy Stanley argues something similar. He says that if something you are doing is successful, you need to take time to evaluate it so you understand why. If we don’t understand why we have momentum, he says, we’ll quickly lose it.
For many of us, this is a paradigm shift. It is easy to see problems and rush to address them. It takes more discipline (and better leadership) to be able to look at bright spots and find ways to replicate them.
Where are your bright spots?
What is something you are doing well? Why is it working?
How can you multiply the success you have into other areas that are less successful?