Fill Your Bucket

Written by Kimberly Rensel, Director of Business Development & Marketing for CDT3

I was recently at a Leadership Meeting and the CEO created an exercise where the leaders were broken into three categories to represent their top 3 competitors.  The objective was to get into the mind of the competitor.  The assignment was to identify and group into the Top Competitor Teams A, B and C.  Each team was told to work as if they were the competitors and identify (1) what they viewed as their strengths, (2) what they viewed as their true employer’s weakness and (3) identify ways to use those previous categories to steal market share.  Brilliant, I thought, as I was observing.  What a way to engage your leaders to work together, get them talking about what they heard about the “word on the street”, identify false and true perceptions and replicate ideas!  The CEO nailed it…or so I thought.

Each team diligently worked together to compile what they heard from former employees of said Competitor Groups.  Several leaders previously worked at the Competitor Groups and it seemed like they were having fun brainstorming ways to take themselves down (remember, they were now part of the opposing companies…as least for the 15 minute exercise).

When it came time to present their findings, there was a detectable energy in the air and it felt like the groups had gained some fresh ideas on how they could be a part of improving their own company based on “market intel.”  Why reinvent the wheel if it is working for the other person…right?  Just replicate what works for the competition!

Competitor Team A presented.  They did a great job.  They were succinct in their ideas, limited them to only the best and really looked like they were proud to add value to the discussion.  The presenter, the CEO, proceeded to gaslight their thoughts.  He said things like, “You may think you know what our competitors are doing, but you don’t, The competitors aren’t better than we are in anything, we know what we are doing and have for years and Don’t be fooled into believing the grass is greener!”

Competitor Team B presented.  Their presentation was shorter, more guarded.  The CEO did the exact same thing and erased what they had just spent the past 15 minutes defining.

Competitor Team C presented.  I can’t even remember what they said because they muddled through it just to get it over with.

The company I was observing has much to improve when it comes to employee engagement.  Inspiration and innovation can come from anywhere!  When you ask for innovation…take it, run with it and allow your leaders to lead!

How can you start each day as a treasure hunt seeking innovation and inspiration around every corner?  Leant how to fill your bucket with new growth strategies and ideas!

CDT3  Re-discover, inspire and fill those buckets!