Believe it or not, you can improve your career and your life by not impersonating hospital food. Speaking at an HR conference in Queensland this week, corporate director and strategic advisor Linda Nicholls (St George, Australian Post, Healthscope, the Smith Family and a bunch of others) offered up the following strategy: work out what people would never say about your organisation. For instance, no-one ever says "This hospital food is excellent -- I must get the recipe" or "Wow, that hotel mini-bar is great value!" In both cases, she noted, that implies areas that are seriously in need of improvement and which should be prioritised in any future plans.
You can apply the same tactics to yourself and your career -- if you're brave enough to work out what people don't like about you or where you don't contribute fully around the workplace. That might require ditching some cherished notions, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. As Nicholls pointed out: "There is an enormous difference between being steeped in tradition and being bogged down in it."