What are you dressing up as for Halloween? Did you come up with your costume idea first and then try to find all of the pieces to complete the outfit, like doing a puzzle? Or did you look through your house, put items together and then realize you had a costume?
These approaches are examples of two different mindsets.
The First Mindset -- Managerial
Let's start with the first way. You decide on a costume idea. Then you think of all the items you need to make this idea come to fruition. Like assembling a puzzle, you begin your quest for the correct pieces. You search your closet and hunt through stores. This approach is the managerial mindset.
With this mindset you try to “see” the future and position yourself to benefit from your prediction. Determining ahead of time what costume to wear immediately limits the possibilities and funnels efforts towards a predetermined end.
An Alternative Mindset -- Effectual
The second approach is effectual, starting with what you already have on hand. This eliminates the need to come up with the idea ahead of time. You shape the result as you create it. Once you see what you have available to you, you develop options and try various combinations until you put together something that works for you.
For those dressing up, this means looking through your closet, your children’s dress-up trunk, your attic, your basement, for possible items to use. Likely, the costume you end up with is one you hadn’t even considered when you started.
Moreover, once you have an idea of a costume, as you talk with others about it, they might contribute additional props that enhance your costume or take it in another direction.
Effectuation in Action
Although stemming from academic research, effectuation is something that is very much part of everyday life. One of our own team members said:
"Every year when I think of a dress-up idea there are always a lot of “pieces” I'm missing, which entails time and money spent seeking out what I need. This year I tried an effectual approach. I combined something from the back of my closet with something my daughter has in her toy room and then I paired up with my son so that I could play off of his costume theme. When it came together it was an “of course!” moment. I saved time. I saved money. I effectuated."
Maybe you did the same. Imagine what else you could create if you applied this mindset to your professional life as well.
Enjoy conjuring up your own effectual creations this Halloween!
--Written by Sara Whiffen, Founder & Managing Partner, Insights Ignited LLC