Solutions for Extreme Conditions

From Paula Wilder, senior partner at WilderWeber Leadership Group, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

Solutions for Extreme Conditions = Experience + Innovative Thinking Late at night:  My son called.  A software programmer in NoVA, he had just spent six hours covering one and a half miles trying to get through the snow to Oakton from his Alexandria, Virginia office.  He has lived in the Washington, D.C. area almost four years.  He trusted his knowledge of alternate routes.  After six hours, he recognized his road experience wasn’t enough.  After multiple detours, he was stuck. 

The D.C. winter weather conditions were overwhelming.   It was high time to re-examine his situation - change his mind-set about reality.  And so, he did.

Solution:  Change the goal from home to Homewood Suites!

Lesson for Extreme Conditions:  All the on-the-ground experience in the world can’t help when conditions have dramatically shifted the environment.  The only thing that could help in his situation (save “Beam Me Up, Scotty”) was looking at reality honestly, exploring alternatives, and then identifying a practical solution.   My son’s road experience might have helped if the conditions weren’t so extreme.  In extreme conditions, viable solutions require more than experience.  They require innovative thinking to get you where you want to go.

SEC = Exp + IT

Solutions for Extreme Conditions = Experience + Innovative Thinking

Happy Ending: He was one of a handful of employees able get to work on time the next day.

Paula Wilder is an organizational effectiveness expert and senior partner at WilderWeber Leadership Group.  WilderWeber Group is a VT KnowledgeWorks member company in Blacksburg, Virginia.


Learn more about WilderWeber Leadership Group on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.  A version of this post first appeared on Handshake 2.0.

VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Programs for Members are divided into two categories according to the evolutionary status of the member company.  Pre-Launch program components are carefully constructed to help market-worthy ventures organize, formulate strategy, obtain outside investment, and launch in an efficient manner.  Enterprise class members benefit from emphasis on strategic support for ongoing growth, continuing intra-preneurship, and professional development for the corporate leader.

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