Are you an Additional?

\"Larry-Page\"I was trawling the wonderful TED.com website the other day and came across an interesting interview with Larry Page from Google; he shared his views on a series of topics and the video itself is well worth a watch. However, a concept and a word jumped out which tickled my interest – “additionality”.

If you google it (I’m sure that Larry did) you will find that it is an economic term that reflects measuring an intervention, he used it more broadly and I would use it more broadly again. For me it reflects a mindset and a philosophy as well as an action. To think with a mindset of ‘additionality’ means to strive for greater value, to build on, to strive to improve and make better. It enables you to continually update ‘why’ you are, ‘how’ you go about that and ‘what’ you do to deliver, personally or organisationally. Now I think this is an important and fundamental philosophy for organisational and /or personal success. It certainly aligns with the core principle on which I have founded Kili Consulting, time is too precious not to be the best that you want to be; but I think it goes further than that.

I think there are two platforms on which the mindset of ‘additionality’ can flourish. 1. You have a vision and goalsclear view of what\"vision you are striving for – your mission and purpose are clear. 2. You are adept at knowing where you are in relation to that mission and purpose. Personal self-awareness or organisational awareness is critical, reviewing progress relative to goals and aspirations, being able to course correct as appropriate is so vital to long term success; we rarely get it right first time.

Beware though, ‘additionality’ is not just about adding new and different things, unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day and whilst I know that these days we are all working harder and using more of those hours in the pursuit of our goals, that resource is finite. For me this is about how we can strive to add additional value or add to the chances of success; it may well, and often should mean, stopping something that is getting in the way. This is more of a challenge than it sounds, I have yet to find an organisation that is good at stopping things. Energy and passion to improve typically adds new things to the to-do list, or the Programme Portfolio if you are organised!

These musings on ‘additionality’ triggered another thought – the relationship between information, knowledge and conversations. In an age where information is ubiquitous the transition from having information to delivering new and better results (personally or organisationally) is so important. Unfortunately, too often the focus is on the gathering and collecting of information rather than on using it to good effect. Larry Page talked about innovation and invention being important, but making it accessible, the game changer. I have shared some information, which, if you internalise it will become knowledge that you can choose to utilise to make a positive impact. In an organisation, that typically involves having a conversation, making time, jumping off the operational treadmill long enough to talk about how this knowledge could be used to good effect. The right conversations are the lifeblood of organisational success, the mindset of ‘additionality’ creates the chance for you to have a conversation that you might not have thought about.

So, in summary, do you have the mindset of ‘additionality’ and are you making time to have the conversations that matter?

\"divergent\"For those of you that have read Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, maybe we have just created a new faction – Additionals? I look forward to conjuring up an initiation test that is suitable, answers on a blog post!


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