You know something is wrong. The symptoms are evident - market share is declining, workforce turnover is too high, or product quality has slipped. Now a crisis looms. But no one can put a finger on the cause, let alone the solution. So what should you do?

Stand on one foot and close one eye.

Every organization has a dominant mindset, a conventional way of doing things. It takes shape mostly from years of repeating the same thoughts and actions. Eventually - as with standing on two feet and keeping both eyes open - people follow this "old way" without even thinking. They know instinctively how to do it, defend it, adapt it to certain situations, and make any problems appear manageable.

At some point, the old way becomes the status quo and stops working for both the organization and its people. Conditions that spawned the old way have changed, sometimes dramatically. Many companies stay the course through several changes, even if each shift demands a new way of doing business. The resulting mismatch eventually brings the organization to a crisis.

The challenge is not simply to find a solution to the crisis. It is to transform your organization's most valuable resources - its people and the way they interact - so they can adapt to, even anticipate, changes in the future. That requires a massive mind shift.

Imagine actually asking a group of people to stand on one foot and close one eye. Suddenly they must abandon what they know about the old way (standing on both feet and opening both eyes) and pay attention to details they have never noticed before. They must focus on themselves, what it takes to remain balanced in this new position. If they are savvy enough, they will use one another for mutual support.

So it is with transforming an organization. People know the old way and how to resist change or make minor tweaks to it, but that practice will no longer suffice in a fast-paced world. Change, therefore, must be fundamental - it must start not with the old way itself, but with the mindsets behind it.

This is the kind of change that organizations have in mind when they engage my company. While listening carefully to people throughout an organization - not just in the executive suite - we share the value of our practice - inclusion as the "HOW," a new way to align people, shift mindsets, leverage human capital, embrace change, and ultimately increase the bottom line. We look past small problems (or rather, symptoms masquerading as small problems) and pull back the curtain on the big problem. And we generate ideas - not to create big solutions, but to let people's inventiveness flow so they come up with solutions.

In the process, people get excited. They see the possibilities in this new way of doing things. It energizes them in a way they may have never experienced before. Suddenly you have a more fluid, dynamic, empowered organization - the type that can adapt quickly to shifts in the marketplace. You have, in short, the elements necessary to succeed in today's fast-changing world.