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?
We often jump into innovation mode, because we are told it is urgent and essential to our organization’s survival , but the failure (and success) of introducing squirrels into city parks offers us some insights into the right way forward, creating the right conditions first.
Below some concepts, I have been noticing as organizations try to adapt to their new evolving environments. Some concepts and resulting attitudes that are shaping the transition from the old to the new economy. Not all are good, but we ideally need to be prepared for what is and what we want to create.
I was recently asked to comment about Transparency and two concepts came to my mind.
They don’t trust us, be transparent to build trust
Firstly your average person has an extremely low trust of companies. According to a recent BBC Mori poll (and to a number of other similar polls) professors, doctors and teachers are the most trusted with around 80% trust levels by your average person, whilst business leaders feature amongst the lowest close to politicians with your average person (and probably your consumers, providers or investors) trusting business leaders at just over 20% levels!
So transparency I therefore see as a means to regain that trust, which is of course fundamental to doing business but also to convincing others to join us, if we are in a quest to also create meaningful impact.
It seems that despite our best intentions, our most recent beautiful and meaningful marketing campaign, is not having much impact at all, almost a waste of money and effort, unless a transparent behaviour allows people to actually see what is behind those words and witness our coherent actions.
We are all in the shop window, make sure people see authenticity
It’s never been easier to write and post your and your organization’s most exciting messages towards a global audience, resulting in an exponential growth in one-to-many content creation. But does anyone actually read your content?
You know, that exciting news or achievement or campaign you just launched that will transform your business / organization and / or the world: how can you increase the likelihood of people actually reading what you post?
In a recent conversation about using media to convey companies’ sustainable policies I extrapolated ten ideas that can be replicated for you and your organization, the last one being in my view the most important one:
Forget one-way monologues – focus on creating bi directional communication flows adding questions that open dialogues
Create intelligent entertaining information – people love to be entertained as well as informed, creating content that goes beyond attracting attention and creates awareness-awakening content that people love to watch more than once and share
The race and pressures for growth in our workplaces will continue to grow but at the same time, they will also increasingly strain our personal, organizational and planetary boundaries. What if we were to explore a new formula for success founded on the unlikely combination of moderation and abundance?
Moderation, one of ebbf’s seven core values could be seen as a hindrance to the fast pace of growth and innovation the world around us seems to demand. However, a closer look at the concept of moderation can help us to understand the powerful opportunities that lie untapped.
Let’s start to explore two complementary applications of Moderation: doing less and using less.