A Critical Doer attacks problems and creates opportunities from the inside out
The Impressionists changed the world of art, and the artists that started the movement indelibly etched their names on the pages of history. Anyone who is a fan of art or at least stayed awake during the art category during a game of Jeopardy is familiar with the names of Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, and the other pioneers of this new style of art. Despite their fame, you might find it interesting that nearly all of us have something in common with these artists before they hit it big; they were poor, unknown, and hanging on by a thread.
As struggling artists, the goal of the Impressionists was to get their work exhibited at the famous Salon. The artists had little success getting their work shown because it deviated from the accepted standard of “good art.” As the notoriety and success of the Salon grew, it’s tolerance for innovation contracted. Have you ever seen an organization behave exactly the same way in that the more successful it became, the more it shunned what made them successful in the first place?
Here’s how the Impressionists solved the problem and it’s a strategy that still works today. If you can’t win the game…change the game. Having no luck with getting their art shown at the Salon, the artists pooled their limited funds and staged their own exhibition. To their surprise, the show made good money on admission and created a lot of chatter about their art. The rest, as they say, is history.
There simply wasn’t a way for the Impressionists to win the game as it existed. Had the artists not taken a risk to change the game, it’s likely their wonderful works of art would never have caught the public eye and they would have lived out their days poor, unknown, and hanging on by a thread.
If you or your organization have hit a brick wall and you can’t find a way to win in the existing game, it may be time for you to produce a work of art of your own and craft a new game that provides an avenue to success and fulfillment. It could be leaving a job and starting a business of your own, it could be devising a new strategy, it could be new partnerships…anything that changes the present circumstances and unlocks new opportunities.
Your challenge is to hear the voices of history calling out to your current situation. When you have decided there’s no way to win your current game, there’s a blueprint waiting to change the game and take control of your circumstances. Be bold and make that move today. It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!
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