Addressing the uncertainty that surrounds your team, might be the starting point to allow a linear step by step approach ending up creating exponential innovation. Or should I say the innovation that can be most useful to make you and your organisation successful.
Uncertainty is both what we are surrounded by and what our human brain is trained to avoid as much as possible. Lack of control, not knowing, being uncertain about the future is not a positive but a negative status that people instinctively resist.
So how do we move from uncertainty to some degree of control and a better place from which to take decisions and act towards the best possible outcomes and innovations?
In the only way you can go from the place where you are sitting or standing right now physically, to the other point you wish to go to, in the room where you are or the place where you aim to go to: taking steps to get there.
During a conversation with the innovative CEO of a very successful future ready company, Second Muse , she shared her biggest insight around the future of work: “today’s younger generations have no fear. They don’t worry about being without a job for a while despite their student loan hanging over their heads. They are happy to wait a year or two in experience-mode before committing to their next, meaningful, job.”
What a contrast with the current senior leadership of companies whose main investment is instead in risk-management. Now before I judge these older “fearful” individuals let’s be fair to them: their future was clear, the next steps were apparently daring but actually quite linear and likely to succeed. It was easier to imagine or predict what would happen next, or even five years down the line.
My friend Kami had bought 600 euros worth of tickets for a theater show. Covid comes, the show is cancelled, the theater then asks ticket holders if they can support the theater and donate instead of asking for a ticket refund.
He was a client, he could become a philanthropist. This is one example of our relationships with companies, and companies’ relationships with their customers have seem some very important changes in this turbulent (to say the least) time.
First we were just consumers, now we are adding another layer with our consumer choices, and can decide how our relationships will change and who I decide to support.
Do I support that theatre not asking for a rebate or do I get a rebate and give that same amount to someone who has lost their job and might now risk being homeless?
It might have never struck you before but our relationships have changed. Our relationship to the companies, to the world, how do we use our money and spend our energy has changed literally from one day to the next.
We are so used to consuming to get something back from what we paid, now we can rethink what we should be getting from our payments, what / who we can influence and reward. Perhaps even push the concept and start to develop a new relationship of just giving without …
It is a complex moment where we can at least think / dream of new ways of leading our companies. In this interview Beatriz Manzanilla Rubio got so beautifully express some of my thoughts and experiences that I hope you can serve.
For nearly two decades, Daniel Truran rises with the conviction that human beings, applying his full being, can create companies that transform the world. “I will not solve poverty, it would be a burden; I like to influence people I have around me consistently, with initiatives such as Impact Hub “he says 10 years after its creation.
“If you want to be effective, you need a balance between the material and the spiritual” Daniel, defined as a facilitator of change, remember when a friend and founder of the international network of Impact Hub told him in 2007 that some young people wanted to set up a headquarters in Madrid. He met them and then there was a click. Despite the diversity, the group converged on the purpose of the innovation impact. To that end, a spirit of collaboration among these four men and four women, six foreign and two Spaniards created.
The team took on the challenge of developing a coworking in a country with no previous experience with a predictable rejection of open spaces and full financial crisis. “We do not care what others say, we felt it was time, enjoying being together and to learn,” says Daniel. In those meetings, she noted the desirability of combining feminine and masculine mentality. “Women’s entrepreneurship brings more depth, more global vision, and connects with greater empathy with those who want to serve rather than giving directly what they ask.”
The icing on the project lay in integrating companies pretendieran positive impact on society and also wanted to pay their employees. “It was pure idealism, but we attracted many idealists. There was a trend toward entrepreneurship meaningful; with a balance between the spiritual and the material. If you want to be effective, you need that balance. ” And from someone who combines today 4 job: professor at IE business school and EOI; BCorp ambassador and CEO of EBBF. And always with a smile.
Given this risk of imbalance, Daniel suggests three tips to resist: determination, collaborate with others and sincerely serve the community of interest. “We have seen many Quixotes who alone have failed,” says the importance of focusing on the areas where we are strongest and find, collaborate with others who complement your weaknesses. “Many hated sell; They tried to do everything and drowned. It’s smart to find someone else with a passion for selling “recommends.
“Before innovation impact was for some crazy; now it is seen as a way of doing business and has a serious role in the Spanish economy “ Regarding the evolution of Impact Hub, assesses how has remained a leader in social innovation and flexibility shown to new entrepreneurs, larger and different sectors. “Now the spaces are more serious. Before impact innovation was for a few madmen, it is now seen as a way of doing business and we managed to have a serious role in the Spanish economy, “he summarizes. To the challenge of keeping the original spirit, it believes that the key is heard, connect with yourself to identify what is important and then connect with others to be more effective. “It is obvious guides or marketing; authenticity is appreciated when you receive alguienque smiles, curiosity and willingness to collaborate. “
His experience in Impact Hub and the business community certified B Corp confirms that coexistence between impact and benefit shows the way. “Companies are beginning to understand that they have to change to exist in the future, it is not about being the first in the world but the best for the world.”
We happen to live in a tremendously unique time in the history of humanity. We and our organizations have never had to live and survive in such a state of constant uncertainty.
The lack of reference points is now such a widespread condition that even an article in the Harvard Business Review invites us to read science fiction books to relearn to imagine what awaits us and create it.
Reconnecting with our intuitive resources is an opportunity to move from an immobilizing state of natural fear and uncertainty, to a new state of mind oriented towards coherent and active actions. A state of mind which allow us to feel free, free to create the future we want for us and for our organizations.
If we want to break free from the “old” and predominant management paradigm, which forces us to adapt to the traditional corporate culture, to the stringent and often unrealistic pressures of our workplaces, where we are deprived of the time to think, and evaluate and grow, we must, first of all, reconnect with what is really important to us.
During my time at COP25 I witnessed how the most attended sessions were those where either Al Gore, Jeffery Sachs or youth were protagonist, with Greta by far the super star of the event. In the image I took below you don’t see a protest but a very peaceful meeting of youth that was attracting the usual wave of attention (maybe even envy for their fresh spirits?)
It seems current generations here have given up and are asking a 16 year old to address the issues they created. So what went so drastically wrong and how can we step out of a trend that could be fatal for our planet and ourselves?
You just created an incredible strategy that will drive an extraordinary success for your organization, you implement it, a disaster: it fails completely all its expectations.
Why? Because we thought that the people, the human resources of our companies were going to implement the plan exactly as we had thought but instead human beings are complex and mysterious beings that rarely do exactly what they are told (thankfully)
Henry Ford famously said “Why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?” This turns out to be the fundamental reason why some companies thrive and others fail: how we understand and treat the people who have to implement our strategies.
In a working world where only 14% of workers are really hooked on their jobs ( 86% are not at all excited about the workplace we have created for them ! ) a radical change is necessary not to innovate, but to survive and eventually thrive. We need to rethink the role of the worker as a wonderfully complex being capable of creating solutions that we did not even imagine could exist or be implemented.
I recently enjoyed a co-creation session with some former MBA students of mine, who now have the opportunity to embed into the business models of their innovative large .com company a flavour of .org and of useful and meaningful impact.
What came out from the creative process was the awareness that we live in amazing, unique times. Times when a historic global shift is taking place all around us.
Where a ten year 2020 to 2030 window is open for us , to use our companies to create the ideal future as opposed to be obliterated by a fast evolving future that others are creating and that right now does not look too bright.
So what is the scenario we are facing and how can we address it to design the best possible future for us and our organizations?