Kaleidoscope Thinking: How to Imagine The Possibilities of a New Vision
As a child I can remember whiling away many hours with a kaleidoscope. You know the toy in which you shook or turned a tube-like cylinder, then held it up to the light to see different colorful shapes and designs.
It provided a forever changing palette of patterns that mesmerized me, not only because of what I saw but because it was so easy, with a simple turn, to create something new.
I hadn’t thought of my kaleidoscope in many years until I recently read an article by Rosabeth Moss Kanter in which she made reference to the term kaleidoscope thinking.
What is kaleidoscope thinking? Simply put, it is the ability to shake things up in an effort to create a new picture based on your past accomplishments and in the process, open up new opportunities in the future.
Citing examples such as IBM’s shift in focus from being a product company to being a service company, it is along the lines of a renovation of your ideas and an alignment of your vision with current market needs.
One of the reasons why my Bullet Proof Strategy includes what I refer to as an Audit Analysis, is that it enables you to assess your past perceptions and results in relation to where you are today and where you want to go in the future. You also quantify how others see you within the same context.
This is an important exercise in that it serves as an ideal starting point to determine if you continue on your present course or “turn your kaleidoscope” to identify a new vision and direction based on your findings.
As many can relate, change is never easy, especially if it is in reaction to a crisis situation in which you have no option but to try something – anything different.
By checking and challenging your vision now and opening yourself up to new patterns of possibility, you will always be in a position of adaptive strength. Just like an IBM, your transition may be bumpy but you will have the time to make an orderly transition.
So what is your current vision? Has it enabled you to leverage your unique abilities to deliver meaningful outcomes for others?
If it is, then keep on going. If not, simply turn the tube of your personal kaleidoscope and leave yourself open to imagining and pursuing the possibilities of a brand new vision.