Disconnecting with the intention of connecting
By Brian Blaha
In our hyper-connected, virtual always-on society, it seems we’re not carving out sufficient time to allow our minds to wander. We don’t take enough time to contemplate the challenges we’re trying to solve in a manner that opens up space for a broader range of ideas and “what ifs.” In some ways, being too connected, all-the-time, can rob our ability to acquire a deeper level of perspective.
Earlier this summer I was working at an office that is 40 minutes from my house. One morning on the way in, I used the time in my car to listen to a LinkedIn Learning podcast on building partnerships. This is really going to be important in the new business environment where we’re seeing less of each other in person. As I was listening to the podcast, I let my mind go to a business problem I was trying to solve. I could almost see the range of solutions bouncing around in front of me and I found some clarity in addressing the problem I was trying to solve.
The digital ecosystem is allowing us to socialize and connect with our colleagues from virtually any place and at any time, creating new post-COVID models for working. While there are many benefits to this, there are also drawbacks. More than ever, it’s important to step off the treadmill, so to speak, and carve out time to think and allow your mind to be curious about something. This can be incorporated into the culture of an organization.
At Wipfli a number of years ago, we engaged the Arbinger Institute to identify a path that would transform our firm and accelerate our growth track. This process entailed an investment in the Outward Mindset, which has accelerated the shift in our focus to the needs of our clients and teammates over our own. By encouraging our associates to be more curious of others’ challenges, needs and goals and linking their goals to our own, we’ve been able to foster an environment that supports greater idea-generation and collaboration.
That mindset shift has been incredibly impactful in how we think and spend our time. We’re putting a premium on ideas and urging our associates to create the personal spaces where they can break away and envision new ways of solving our client’s problems and simply doing things better. In a sense, we’re putting value on the process of disconnecting with the intention of connecting with ourselves and the ideas that come when we create the space to think.
In turn, when we come together, we’re finding that our collaboration is elevated and more productive. We’re gaining a greater understanding of our clients’ problems and the dynamics that mid-market emerging companies have to contend with – and we’re bringing fresh solutions to solving them. Our new tagline says it all: Perspective Changes Everything.