Translation Please…

Enjoy this guest post from Mark Miller:

Why do some really big ideas fail to gain acceptance while others, seemingly less significant, flourish? If you want an example, think no further than a cat video on YouTube with 118 million views – really???

In recent writing, I’ve hypothesized about value and awareness as key drivers of traction. I still believe that to be true – but there are probably a couple of other factors that ultimately determine the reach of an idea.

Here’s one to consider: Approachability.

I think back to when I was serving as the head of our newly formed Quality team. This was a time when six sigma, a quality improvement built around statistics, was all the rage. Some assumed my newly formed team would begin teaching this very hot and trendy methodology to all of our people. We said no.

Why? Not because the tenets of six sigma were not valid; rather, I was concerned about the approachability of the concept. I could not see tens of thousands of teenagers around the country embracing something as academic and challenging as six sigma.

Often leaders make a mistake when they try to embrace someone else’s practices without first translating them into their own language and culture. I think this is one way leaders can add huge value…

Find truth and make it culturally relevant.

And, in the process of making an idea culturally relevant, you can make it approachable. Only when an idea is approachable, can it become transformational.

What are the chronic problems you and your organization face? What is required to resolve these issues? How can you make the “answer” approachable for your people?

About Mark Miller

Mark Miller is the best-selling author of 6 books, an in-demand speaker and the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership at Chick-fil-A. His latest book, Leaders Made Here, describes how to nurture leaders throughout the organization, from the front lines to the executive ranks and outlines a clear and replicable approach to creating the leadership bench every organization needs.

One Comment on “Translation Please…

  1. Excellent wisdom, the Lord always knows when to put the right thing I need to hear in my path. I have passion and enthusiasm, but need to learn how to make translate into the culture I am trying to reach. Thank you for the wisdom!

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