Perfection is often the enemy of learning and progress.

Years ago I was invited to facilitate a 2-day planning session for a group of high level executives, many of whom were current or former CEOs of highly successful enterprises.  As a group, they were individuals who were attentive to details, had strong opinions, and – now I am speculating here – had probably been known to be “micro managers” in their work roles.  To say the least, they were a lively and challenging group (which I enjoyed working with immensely).

The purpose of the meeting was to craft a vision and action plan for a service organization that they were considering creating.

Early in the process I observed the kind of conversation that often bogs down such groups.  Every word and detail seemed to be debated.  I call this a “the (thee) versus the (thuh) debate” (i.e. how are we going to pronounce the word “the?”).  It was obvious that progress was going to be severely challenged if it continued.

So, on the spot I “invented” and proposed a new ground rule for our process, which I call GEFN (Good Enough for Now).  When I, or someone else in the group, felt that the group was beginning to go around in circles and generally were in agreement the question could be raised: “Are we at a GEFN place?”

It worked beautifully and progress was made.  The meeting was successful.

Perfection can become a Persecutor, relegating us to being a Victim stuck in the muck and not moving forward.  It may seem that GEFN is a Rescuer that relieves the sense of powerlessness that characterized the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) ™.  Instead, it actually serves a Challenger to us (whether as an individual or a group) as Creators.  It is a tool that is rooted in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) ™.

Creating takes place a Baby Step at a time.  Rather than assuming you need to have something perfect before taking the step, pause and ask yourself “Is this at a GEFN place?”  You will find that often it is. As you take each baby step, you learn from successes – as well as setbacks – and adjust actions that determine forward progress.

By practicing the process of baby steps and GEFN, over time your envisioned outcome will find its own “perfect” expression – the final form of which may surprise you.


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