MacGyver is television series created by Lee David Zlotoff. The show ran for seven seasons during the 1980’s. Angus MacGyver, the show’s main character, was a resourceful consultant who always epitomized extreme common sense. MacGyver could solve complex problems with everyday materials, along with his trusty Swiss Army knife and a roll of duct tape. I was always impressed by MacGyver’s success!
For 20 years I have used the word “MacGyverism” when discussing with audiences the importance of thinking differently; using your imagination, and the imaginations of those you work and play with, to accomplish a goal.
Lest I digress…I must apologize in advance. This week I was shocked to discover that “MacGyverism” is a now a documented word according to the Collins English Dictionary: “A person that utilizes any available resources to resolve a situation into a successful conclusion.” That’s my definition!!! This is not the first time I didn’t get credit where credit is due – Early in the 80’s, while bartending, I created the adult beverage “The Russian Quaalude”…That’s a story for next time.
The point being, with all the complexities of doing business, thinking differently or staying customer-focused is not easy! Think about this – how many snap decisions, rule or policy changes have you made or experienced over your career because of the lack of imagination? Words like “no”, “don’t”, or “can’t” are often a policy maker’s easy way out. In today’s world, “easy” rarely yields the best results.
Four Ideas That Will Help Create an Imaginative Workplace:
- When your heart says MAYBE, don’t tolerate NO! Always explore other options – see what others are doing. Multiple options to choose from are a really good thing.
- Switch roles – feel and experience the situation from the customer’s perspective. The real experience.
- Really listen and Really track it. Gather the proof/facts you need to know if something is worth modifying or changing. Mystery shop it – use several snap shots see it from multiple angles.
- Trust your decision and communicate it to everyone. If you have done your homework you’ll sleep better at night.
Creating a culture that promotes and insists everyone think differently is possible. It’s much more than rules, policies, and identifying what’s stale and what’s not. Imaginative results often lead to increased profit generation, better retention, and customer loyalty. If you have seen me speak, you’d know that imagination can turn 9 into 6 before your very eyes.