Friday, July 30, 2010

Rising Above

Rising above is not easy. We all have as people, as organizations,  a standard we settle into, particularly after we've stopped growing. If I had to guess, I'd say the average across all people and organizations world wide that once they are through their growth stage, that settle into a standard, is 95%.

that standard might be would fall across a spectrum from the very mundane to the very high, but nonetheless it is still a standard that has been settled into that has become your comfort zone.
Rising above that standard is hard once you've settled into the comfort zone.

Rising above for people is hard because it takes self discipline, getting past the fear of change, inadequate support and that most people around you are not motivated enough to rise above, to grow, to set and live new standards.

Rising above for organizations is harder still, because of the cultural norms that get established once it stops growing, as an organization, it develops it's own fear of change, it employs people that fear change and growth, leaving the whole organization unable to rise up, to grow, to set and live new standards.

Adding towards the conundrum is a lack of vision of what they or it are growing towards, what standards might they want to rise up to.

I have my own vision, my own set of standards that I personally and as the unconventional consultant am growing towards, that I try incorporate into my way of life, my core being. I admit, it isn't easy. What I believe, however, is that the goal of a transformed world, transformed organizations, transformed people, and a transformed you is worth the effort. I get transformed in the bargain. I believe the social networks we'll have by working towards this goal, the shared knowledge, the inspiration for innovation will all be worth it.
Those two basic beliefs are enough for me to keep growing, keep trying to rise above every day.
Especially on the days where it isn't easy.

There is the wild misconception that there are limits to economic growth, limits to capitalistic growth. We'll look at this in depth in future posts, in today's post all I will say for now is that there is no limits to growth. There is no limit to the ideas and innovation humans and organizations harbour, that can be grown into new ways of life, new ways of doing things, new products to better our lives.
There is no limit to the ways we can address the growing--yes, growing!--challenges humanity faces in the coming decades, there is no limit to the opportunities those challenges will present to us.

To me, there is unlimited growth.
By my count, 100% of people, 100% of organizations have room for growth, some much more than others, but all have more room to grow. (We'll put aside for now the notion of 'size' as growth!) We all have room to grow, we all can rise above.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Unconventional Organizations, Unconventional People

For organizations of any type to adapt and thrive in the ever changing, rapidly evolving environment that the 21st century has brought and will continue to bring they need to let go of the conventional.
I know all too well this is a concept that is difficult to grasp.
The conventional is easier, the conventional is how most organizations do it. The conventional is comfortable. The conventional has an easy to follow manual. The conventional is ordinary. The conventional cannot see past it's next quarterly report, cannot see past it's next sales target.

Right now there is an idea to revolutionize the business you are in. A way of doing something, a model, a product that is better than yours, that sometime in the future, be that tomorrow, or ten years from now, will make your business out of date. Behind the curve. Fighting to catch up. Odds are your business is already fighting to catch up.

Browsing the internet for even an afternoon reveals myriad trends, fads, books, consultants, methodologies, and fixes, etc and so forth for making your business, your organization or you as a person better equipped to make you or your business better.
They are almost all well meaning. Some are probably excellent. Some might even make the difference to the long term survival of your organization, or to you to earn a living.

Most are conventional. Most allow you to keep up with the ordinary. Or hook you on high octane ideas of winning. Some are simply dreadful.

Shockingly few understand how life works, shockingly few understand how life, how culture, how technology evolves. Shockingly few have worldviews.

If your organization, if you as a person has no systematic way of understanding the future, no systematic way of understanding how to adapt, how do you plan to do it? Hard work? That is a lot of energy that could be expended on being innovative, spent on learning how to be leading edge. Relying on being 'smarter'? What, I would ask, makes you or your organization so smart? How does it do it? Or maybe just luck? Luck is what eighty percent rely on. In which case, if that is your plan, then--good luck!

You could step away from the conventional. You could step up from the ordinary. You could email me to find out how.
I will advise this first. I am not for the ordinary. I am not for the conventional. I am for those that want to understand, lead and win in the game of life.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

150 Light Bulbs

All I need is light bulbs going off in the heads of 150 people and organizations. That moment where the 'click' happens, and they fully get what I am about, and what I am developing.

People and organizations that want to move from the ordinary, from even above the ordinary, to the extraordinary.

With those 150 people and organizations we'll be able to do the extraordinary.

When we get to 150, we'll know.

What is it you need to 'get'?
Keep reading then. To get it faster, write me. Email or the comment box below this post is even better. When you're leading your own tribe you're closer still. When you are doing the extraordinary, you are almost there!

Keep reading.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Unconventional Tribe II

How do you start and grow networks of world wide organizations of passionate, self motivated people with rich personal lives?
It's simple.
You invest in people. You particularly invest in people who have dreams, have untapped abilities, who have under valued knowledge, who want more out of life than the ordinary, the mundane, the life of the herd.

I do it because I know with absolute certainty it is the very best investment I can make. I'll be creating value where none previously existed. The largest untapped resource the world has today is the six inches between your ears, and the size of your heart.

With a network, a tribe of people like that, I'll be the richest man alive.

What's stopping you?

The Unconventional Tribe

Who is the unconventional tribe?
We are the individuals, the people, the organizations who want to take the lead in shaping the future. Wanting to is simple. Having the path and knowledge to want to shape the future is harder. Taking on the responsibility is harder still.
But that is what leaders do.

As leaders, we wake up, and look for the paths we'll need to shape the kinds of future that lets economic life, social life, and biological life flourish.
As leaders, we actively examine the realities of today, we dig deeper in understanding the nature of the current realities, we seek out the knowledge of others in evaluating the current realities and create actions plans for developing short term and long term improvements.
We actively try to understand how the bigger picture and everyday realities mesh.

As leaders of the future, we actively try to understand the long term trends, and how as individuals, people, and organizations we're going to adapt to those trends--and more importantly!--shape those trends.

As leaders, as systems thinkers, we understand that economic and social systems require that you invest and put back into the system more than you take out. That is how systems grow and flourish.
Eighty percent of the wealth going to ten percent of the people is not a sustainable system.
Social and knowledge capital that is not actively reinvested across all social boundaries is not a sustainable system.
Social, knowledge and economic capital that is not reinvested into our ecological systems is not a sustainable system.

The Unconventional Tribe understands this. We get it.

We also understand we have to combine and spread our efforts. We understand we have to not only keep developing our own leadership skills, we have to develop leadership skills in many others.
We understand we have to take on the responsibility for creating and developing the kinds of learning and knowledge bases, the broader kinds of systems thinking, and the kinds of social networks that can combine and spreads our efforts.

We understand that if we are going to be the kinds of individuals, the kinds of people, the kinds of organizations that can and will respond to the immense challenges of the future that we have to take the lead.

How do you join the Unconventional Tribe? You write me. The sooner the better. We have a future to shape.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Adaptive Traits for Organizations

How prepared, how adaptive is your organization for the challenges and opportunities the next ten, twenty, thirty years are going to bring? Is your organization leading the way in having awareness of those challenges? Or is it following the herd? How do you even know how adaptive your organization is? What system do you have for understanding those challenges?

There are three adaptive traits winning organizations will have in leading the way in thriving in the kinds of future environments the changes the 21st century is bringing.
Those organizations will have a systems thinking mindset throughout the organization.
Those organizations will be learning organizations and the people in them will be people who have learning as a life style.
Those organizations will have dynamic social networks that create rich connections within themselves, and far outside the boundaries of the organization.

Here, where we explore the unconventional, where we look for those edges that will make us the leaders now and for the years ahead, where we want to be the winners in the years ahead, those three adaptive traits will be ongoing themes.
Being unconventional means seeing what others cannot, understanding what others fail to understand, being what others are afraid to be.

How well does your organization understand and live these adaptive traits?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It's About The People, Stupid

Get two persons together that are transforming themselves into the kinds of individuals the world will need for the foreseeable future, and what you have is people.
People being transformed into leaders the world needs is a powerful force.

There are many many people, groups of people, books, ideas (all of whom and which I'll introduce you to at some point!) that over the course of my life have gone into the building of a belief, and the developing of a system from which people can transform a world, but one person I'd like to refer to now is the change agent, Seth Godin.

Seth, via his book "Tribes" helped me make more real in my own mind a powerful concept he called Tribes.
Creating a Tribe around an idea, or concept creates a dynamic force of people who want to go in a similar direction. And once you create a dynamic force of people, a tribe of people who believe they can transform something--be that themselves, their family life, their neighbourhood, their co-workers, their place of work, or their belief of what is possible with an open, learning mind--what you have is a force that can create ripples of change, ripples of innovation, ripples of hope around itself.

The very simple trick, the very simple action, is believing we can. Yes, it is that simple. Then it is actively engaging with your tribe.

When you have a Tribe, you have a network. A network of like minded people where ideas, knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, passions get spread to people outside your Tribe. With that you, yes, YOU can become a change agent.
Seth Godin is a change agent because of the simple belief in himself that he can be. And that is how he lives his life.

Ideas and concepts, or passion or abilities that the world might need that reside only in your own mind are like untapped veins of gold--it is or can be a valuable resource. Having a Tribe turns your untapped resource into something the world can use.

It's easy! Anybody can do it.

If this current, conventional 'world' is not quite up to the job of providing for nine billion people in a scant forty years, this strongly suggests we need change. Which, if you think about it, is awesome! That is, change happens whether we like it or not. The truly excellent part is realizing we have--and we've always had that--the ability to shape that change. That is, you have the ability to shape that change. We all have that in us.
It starts by believing you can.

When I am not developing my life as the unconventional consultant, when I am not building houses (a story for another day here), I am developing a world wide organization I call "Transform the World". While on the surface this seems like a pretty tall order ("You're going to what? Transform what?" "The World?" "Are you nuts?") it isn't at all. It's easy. Anybody can do it. Including you. You start by transforming yourself. Admittedly, that is the hard part, as it is a life's process.
But when compared with all the many trivial pursuits we can take in life, if you really look at the process of transforming you, you'll find it is one of the highest rewards for yourself. You get the very best you can be, and the world gets transformed in the bargain.

It's easy--ANYbody can do it. Including you.

The World Needs You

My standard spiel is that the world's population is projected to be nine billion people by the year 2050. In forty years, that means we might add 50% more people than we already have.
That, my friends, is going to present us--that's you and me--with a lot of challenges.
Fortunately, people like you and I love challenges. We need challenges. That's what makes us alive. We see them as opportunities to push ourselves to be the very best we can be. To learn. To grow.
To rise above the ordinary, to be extraordinary.
The challenge of another three billion people (this is a projection. more on this in future posts) will present us, the you's and me's of the world, with a LOT of opportunity.

The conventional will not get it done. The ordinary, the routine, the we-always-do-it-this-way will not get it done.
We need the unconventional. We need the extraordinary. We need the remarkable. We need leaders. We need you.