“d3&t – Drop Everything & Train” – The New Leadership Mantra for the 4th Industrial Revolution

(“d3&t” is borrowed from barbellshrugged.com, a podcast team that focuses on “talking training with crossfit games athletes, strength coaches and more.”)

Some of the biggest companies in the world are consolidating learning and development (L&D) efforts to focus on key changes that will transform how their companies work every day. They are focusing on embedding specialized lifestyle transformation leadership training, transformational DNA, communities of practice, and prioritizing deliberate daily training rituals to help shift mindsets and biases and elevate conscious awareness into the daily/weekly calendar of senior leadership.

You can see some of the real world cases of this being put into action in the following examples (and an even longer list of examples, case studies and references can be found at the end of this article):

As corporate dinosaurs watch these progressive-thinking giants working on their own individual and collective de/re-programming, they’re panicking noticing the gap widening faster and faster.

These companies are training vigorously to strengthen their innovation and transformation muscles in order to continually upgrade their operating systems.

WHY ARE THEY EMBEDDING THIS KIND OF TRAINING EXPERTISE?

In three years’ time four out of 10 CEOs expect to be running significantly transformed companies.” According to KPMG’s 2016 CEO study, “65% of U.S. CEOs acknowledge that the next three years will be more critical for their industries than the past 50.”

The essential need in business today is to reimagine and reinvent business. This starts as a business strategy, design and implementation conversation, and it continues into a culture, people and mindset transformation conversation. That’s why one needs to focus on not just being a better leader (that won’t be enough), but being a transformational leader.

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If you are among the business leaders responsible for implementing a new winning strategy, building new competencies and nurturing new cultural attributes, you are probably struggling to get the results you want and are open to learning about what works.

How you arrange your day to prioritize deliberate practice will distinguish the “best from the rest” when it comes to learning new things and delivering elite performance. Drop everything that stands between you and your transformation dojo. Stop all other L&D programs, so that you can focus your energy and budget on training your innovation and transformation muscles more effectively, for the sake of better business outcomes. If you are not sure which L&D programs to continue and which to leave behind, you should work with an objective specialist who can direct you and help challenge your current thinking.

MOST CORPORATE L&D PROGRAMS ARE UNDERMINED BY THE SYSTEM ITSELF

The “system” is represented by those with the power. Sometimes even the individuals who are demanding the transformation are unaware that they are not appropriately integrating L&D into the strategy, which, in the end, compromises the transformation results.

Most large corporate leadership developmental efforts are highly limited because:

  • They mistakenly treat development like an event, not a daily lifestyle practice commensurate with the chosen lifestyle change.
  • They do not tackle the dynamics of the dominant power system, which is responsible for locking leadership’s default patterns and habits into place.
    • Their L&D departments and programs often suffer from the same “learned helplessness” taught by the system. They become overly sensitive to what’s reasonable, practical and convenient for leaders to “work-in” instead of being more sensitive to what’s impactful/effective:

DON’T JUST EXERCISE — TRAIN!

The repeated cycle of failed transformation efforts isn’t for a lack of intelligence or lack of effort. It is more often a lack of understanding around how we orient ourselves to the transformation opportunity itself. We might be putting in a lot of effort, but not necessarily our best effort.

“d3&t” — Drop Everything and Train is a mantra from a podcast that focuses on talking about fitness training with crossfit games athletes, strength coaches and more.  The phrase places an emotional, physical and spiritual emphasis on refocusing and recommitting to your goals and purpose every day. There are no secrets or shortcuts for making extraordinary gains, whether we are talking about physical gains inside the gym or business transformation gains in the world of commerce.

Specifically, the metaphor of “physical fitness” is too generic to suggest an appropriate training regimen for an athlete or a company. What kind of “fit” do you want to be? World-class athlete kind of fit? Olympic medal worthy? Gold medal worthy, or will you settle for any medal? Or are you happy just to qualify for the games?  What is the specific goal? Clarity around your goal, and honesty about how far away you are from the goal, will help expose the fitness (or capabilities) gap. From there you will be able to consciously plan an effective training regimen.

More likely than not, your company’s L&D programs and culture efforts are executed like a poorly planned exercise regimen – the efforts don’t actually match the planned shift, because in most cases the transformation goals require training for a lifestyle change. Most companies brave the transformation strategy because something is not working the way they want at the current level. They feel stuck and they want to shift to the next level. Most companies in this position are lucky to get any transformation at all, much less the world-class transformation they are hoping for.

Continuing with the analogy of physical fitness, if you just want to lose some weight or just get in better shape, then exercise is enough. Engage in some physical activity that gets you moving and burns calories – simple as that. But powerlifter and author Mark Rippetoe makes the distinction that random physical exercise cannot produce a physical transformation beyond a certain point. Once the initial inspiration to get in shape wears off, our interest in transforming wanes and we stop making meaningful progress.

The only way to achieve the desired physical transformation (or transformation gains) is to carefully plan and monitor the full integration of intensely focused training for said goal. This vertical learning trajectory is required to get to the next level. Just working on horizontal learning at the current level won’t be enough. It requires an elevated awareness and focus. One must stay committed to the prescribed ongoing deliberate practice with increasing levels of stress/tension, renewal and growth across all the relevant diverse dimensions of performance training for very specific domains/specialties (e.g., strength, endurance, speed, agility, flexibility, mobility, mental toughness). One must also be willing to persist regardless of circumstances, accepting uncertainty and fear of failure achieving that specific goal. One must be committed to staying in the tension of the transition between the current level and next level.

If yours is like most companies on a transformative path, you are working on shifting from one unhealthy word cloud of culture descriptors to an ideal word cloud of culture descriptors:

  • From unhealthy (e.g., stalled sales, declining margins, commoditization, distribution pressure, self-centered, highly reactive, driven by habit, very siloed, political, risk-avoidant, fearful, punitive, command and control, traditional, discouraging, overconfident, distracted, “armored-up”)
  • To becoming a “world-class” competitor at the highest level of competition in your chosen domain (e.g., growing, partnering, reconfiguring value chains, client-centric, open, collaborative, creative, resourceful learning, integrated, inclusive, courageous, empowering, energizing)

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DON’T JUST TWEAK THE SYSTEM – TRAIN!

“Tweaking the system” is a related metaphor and a similar trap to be aware of. Some believe that making slight modifications and additions will miraculously provide most of the transformation all on its own. See if you recognize these patterns:

  1. Physical fitness: Buying a standup desk and visiting the gym three times a week to exercise doesn’t transform my lifestyle. It doesn’t give me six-pack abs or sufficiently elevate my performance to a next level domain. It doesn’t even guarantee I’ll be healthy.
  2. Corporate fitness: Attending a few workshops every year, doing the homework exercises in my head (instead of in writing), reading a few books now and then, and sharing articles and podcasts doesn’t make me ready and fit to lead my organization on a transformation journey. It doesn’t mean I’ll be more adaptive or skilled at facilitating teams or be any more effective at complex problem solving. It doesn’t even guarantee that I’ll be better at stopping myself and recovering more quickly when my reactive stress triggers make me want to rescue, persecute, yell, gossip and bully people with my old command and control default habits.

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In both physical and corporate metaphors, to break away from status quo leadership behaviors and dominant culture, leaders need to be transformational. They need to be:

  • Training to sustain a mastery pattern of learning (vertical learning)
  • Training to sustain adaptive levels of growth and performance
  • Training to sustain relational connection, support, coaching and identity

Exercising and tweaking the system are not the same as training.We don’t get the desired result of getting to “consciously competent” with new capabilities and new default habits that help amplify the business strategy with mere exercise. Without proper lifestyle training (reprogramming), we are still consciously INCOMPETENT and therefore undermining the business strategy with our consciously incompetent gaps.

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Corporate training L&D programs designed specifically to support transformation include a very focused training regimen. Effective programs clearly articulate the business context, shape the environment, and design the strategic scaffolding of support, discipline and liberating structures. Effective programs make it safe enough and challenging enough to help individuals and teams reach their full transformational potential. The most effective training focuses on integrating the deep work of the intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional, relational, procedural, structural areas of people’s lives. Transformation happens in community. So, we have to train together in a way that recognizes them/us/me as a whole human being, irreversibly changing the DNA of the person, the team and the culture. That’s how to accelerate the desired lifestyle transformation.

d3&t

We’re all at our own current level – pursuing our own next level. We are all working through that transition on the path to transformation.  Winning and losing the transition follows basic patterns that one can unconsciously fall into or consciously train to more effectively climb out of. See for yourself – sample from the never-ending buffet line of training benefits.

Don’t just be a better leader, be a transformation leader.

Or consciously choose not to transform.

Prioritize what needs to transform and why it matters to you. Prioritize which muscles need to be developed and in what integrated sequence – then get your reps in. Embed a deliberate practice into every day and embrace the lifestyle changes that need to be made. Be kind to yourself as you prototype your own sustainable rituals and rhythms that you can fall in love with.

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Don’t just exercise and tweak the system – train. Train like your business strategy and results depend on it. Or consciously choose not to transform.

Train like you’re truly committed to developing these new muscle groups by making irreversible lifestyle choices. Just “exercising” undermines your winning strategy. Real, integrated “training” for a transformed lifestyle, over time, amplifies your winning strategy.

Don’t just train alone – train together. Practice not quitting — together.
Or consciously choose not to transform.

Life is the dojo. Life is the curriculum. There’s nothing to figure out, nothing else to go find. Drop everything that stands between you and your “dojo.”  Drop everything and train.

“Chop Wood & Carry Water” – because there are no transformation shortcuts

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It can be hard for very successful leaders to retool their leadership abilities.

But we all can.

It’s actually very simple, but it’s not always easy.

Easy or not, many of us are upgrading our leadership constitutions. We’re leading in times of extraordinary change; many believe it’s now or never. Many of us are self-authoring the greatest chapters of our leadership story.

Many C-suite execs have been working on their own personal retooling for many years, transforming themselves. As a result, they are amplifying the impact they have on their team, their families and their organization. They are leading differently at work and at home – it shows and it’s working.

They are building momentum towards a culture where curiosity, openness, understanding, wise risk-taking, agility, creativity, commitment and accountability become embedded in “the way we do things around here.”

These transformational leaders have chosen to engage in an ongoing mutual process of learning to raise one another up and shifting to a culture (a new system) with higher standards and higher levels of purpose, relationship and performance in order to more quickly and effectively get to the complex problem solving together.

But they were probably born for this, right? They probably have more time to work on that kind of stuff than we do. Their situation is probably different; they are different; they are special and gifted in the magical secrets that we don’t have access to.

Probably not. They are not unicorns and there are no shortcuts.

They have simply adopted new lifestyle habits that strengthen their transformation leadership muscles. We all have these muscle groups, but they haven’t all been developed yet. We all have the gift. We all have the same amount of time. With deliberate, purposeful, intensely focused practice (embedded in the way we work and schedule our days), these new muscles have helped them see more + work better + feel stronger in the face of transformation challenges. That’s how adult development works. If we want the elevated performance benefits of vertical learning we have to train in the same way that high-performance athletes develop their muscles to respond differently. Transformation leaders have been training their muscles to be transformation-fit, like Navy SEALs train to be SEALFIT . It’s a form of integrated training with specific, sustainable, lifestyle performance goals in mind.

Transformation (innovation) leaders have learned to get better at letting go of their biases and default/reactive habits in favor of greater awareness leading to resourceful, more effective habits. They have learned to respond more creatively, more collaboratively, more adaptively and more curiously. They don’t respond perfectly every time, but they recover more quickly now and they respond better more often (than yesterday) and, more importantly, when it matters most. They’ve learned to manage polarities and leverage the simple rules that drive complexity better. They have learned to use power differently and play the long game better. They’ve learned to let go of their addiction to old success formulas, dominant power structures and outdated leadership paradigms that have limited the visibility of all their options/choices/possibilities holding their teams back and holding their organizations and strategy hostage for far too long.

They have chosen to be more ready to lead change than others. They have chosen to be more ready to “mobilize for the fourth industrial revolution – It’s now or never,” proclaims the cover of KPMG’s CEO Outlook 2016. The summary headlines in this CEO report are echoed everywhere – in every forward-looking body of research: “The next three years are business critical. Industries are transforming faster than ever before. Innovation is a matter of time. Customer focus and investment will increase.”

It’s never going to be this slow again. Transformation is no longer just a business practice. It has become a way of life – a lifestyle choice for leaders in the new normal.

Are we ready to embrace transformation leadership and innovation as life? The more of us who are ready, the further we all get.

In our lifetime and our children’s lifetime , it will always be time to “chop wood and carry water.”

It’s time to fall in love with the process.

It’s time to train.

The Future of Leadership: Disruption Dismantles the Oz Model of Leadership

Disruption is fundamentally changing what defines a great leader in today’s world. Dorothy, we are not in Kansas any more! In this disruptive world, the heroic, all- knowing leader is a relic of the past. Today’s leaders are responsible for re-inventing their business with a sense of purpose and the ability to create meaning for employees. These leaders have to have the agility, authenticity, and sense of self to do this knowing that control is a mirage.

If disruption weren’t enough, the very base upon which leadership is built—trust and authority—are being revolutionized in this VUCA world. Change, ambiguity, and uncertainty require stronger and stronger emotional bonds between leaders and employees than ever before, especially when leaders have to lead at scale and out of sight. It asks for leaders who are congruent in message and behavior; leaders who are role models of strength and humility.

Today’s strong leaders are described as collaborative, inclusive, engaging, and inspiring. Work groups are required to be team focused, democratic, matrixed, and participative. Everyone expects to have a voice.

Until now, the hard, cold masculine emphasis on logic, numbers strategy, and finance was pitted against the soft, intimate, feminine qualities of relationships and behavior. In today’s highly disruptive, competitive environments, decisions about the business are inseparable from concerns about how the culture, behaviors of leaders, and quality of the dialogue they create can enable the strategy given the context of their challenges.

Leadership used to be about maintaining order and replicating processes. Leadership of today is about navigating ambiguity. Leaders of today need to be catalysts and empowering and inspiring authentic storytellers of purpose and direction. No longer can leaders expect employees to perform solely in exchange for financial and job security. In today’s volatile economy, leaders are expected to provide individualized development and, most importantly, meaning for their direct reports in exchange for job performance. In order to do this, they need to have discovered their own sense of meaning and purpose.

By purpose, I mean the strongly felt sense of responsibility that a leader has for taking action even in the face of risk, conflict, and uncertainty. Purpose is the grounding that enables leaders to be agile amidst disruption, to earn the trust of others, and to lead without ascribed power and authority. It goes beyond talent, skills, or even knowledge. Unlike personality or behavioral approaches to leadership, purpose defies quantification, categorization, or assessment. Purpose can’t be taught, but it can be discovered.

When disruption hits an organization, the last place most companies think to look is at their purpose. Most try to come up with a new strategy to win, using their old Oz-style of leadership, in a game where they have already lost. If you look at the companies that have performed over time and outperformed all others, you’ll see a common thread around their purpose. Member of Axialent’s Advisory Board Raj Sisodia in his book Firms of Endearment articulates it best when he says “Providing shareholders a good return on their investment remains an important objective, but the idea is spreading that investment returns can be greater when wealth creation for shareholders is not the sole or even main purpose for which a company exists.” And indeed, the companies he researched — the Firms of Endearment — are characterized by leaders who pursue a purpose beyond returns and have proven to outperform the S&P 500 by significant margins, returning 1,026 percent for investors over the ten years ending in June 2006 compared to the 122 percent for the S&P 500.

The Oz model of leadership has been dismantled by disruption and we have entered an era of purpose-driven leaders at their best in the face of ambiguity.

Here are some ideas on how to start a conversation in your organization:

 Where are we fully aligned with our values; where are we not?
 What part of our rhythm of business challenges our most aspirational of values?
 Where in our system are we missing the opportunity to reward feminine leadership, regardless of gender?
 Where are we at risk of rewarding/celebrating only masculine traits? What is the cost?
What is the purpose of our business outside of financial performance?

When good people do bad things

The hard reality is that good people do bad things and honest leaders let it happen. While out and out fraud certainly occurs, the daily parade of headline-grabbing scandals that impact our leading corporations are being instigated by leaders we would otherwise think of as normal, hard-driving executives.

As we learn from behavioral economists such as Dan Ariely, it is normal human nature for us all to cheat a little bit. Human nature as it is presents a constant choice between satisfying our self-interest and doing what we feel is the right thing. We balance our desire to get more for ourselves with our desire to perceive ourselves as honest. So long as our self-aggrandizing actions don’t make us feel like we are cheaters, we will continue to act only in our self-interest.

We start with little things: white lies becoming bigger, taking office supplies and small fudging of details on expense reports. We see whether such actions are the kind of things that we can share with peers around the coffee machine. Once we get feedback that these actions did not cause us harm or social ostracism, we find ourselves pushing the envelope further. We are now well on our way down the slippery slope. We are all vulnerable to varying degrees of rationalization and self-deception. We will tell ourselves stories to justify our actions and remove the dilemmas from our deacons-making.

So how do we change behavior and make ourselves more virtuous? The first step is self-awareness of what we are, in fact, doing. Just being mindful that we are human and subject to these pulling demands is a critical place to start. We don’t need guilt for not being “perfect.” Being human is being in the game of daily choices and not pretending that we can stand on a pedestal of propriety and be immune to the dilemmas we all face. We need to be mindful of the blindspots and unconscious biases we all embody. Our upbringing and social environment embed our unique set of biases: what is right or wrong, what is safe or dangerous. In organizations, this is the vital first step for leaders: to recognize that an ethical culture is not created by just setting high standards, but by understanding how we are all vulnerable.

The critical second step is then to create an environment that reduces the temptation that plagues all of us. Leaders have an obligation to understand what will reduce the risk of misconduct.

Where do we start? We each need to understand where we may be our own worst enemy. Ethical people are not always ethical leaders. They may be giving mixed signals to employees about expectations. They may be unknowingly creating a workplace environment that is so stressful that it leads individuals to take actions they are not proud of.

What steps can we take? Several tools used in Conscious Business provide a powerful platform for the self-awareness needed to reduce the risk of unethical conduct.

i/we/it — The i/we/it model is a powerful tool to see a broader picture of how to find sustainable and successful balance in one’s actions. In the narrow focus of achieving goals (IT), individuals can allow themselves to put on blinders that focus only on this goal. However, remembering the “I” is an important stop-gap that gives pause to one’s blind-focus actions. Taking steps to remember why I am engaged in this action and asking if it truly serves me can be a valuable wake-up call. Similarly, having a healthy set of relationships (WE) in your world can also be a powerful wake-up call. Having individuals whom you trust enough to call you on your actions can help break the auto-response blinders of self-deception.

Managing Polarities — One of the more common reasons why good people engage in bad behavior is they push themselves into a binary decision: I have no choice but to take this wrong action; the ends justify the means. But, what if we could acknowledge the tensions between what the organization says it needs and what is the right thing to do? Polarity mapping is a powerful tool to understand that organizational goals and maintaining high levels of integrity are not opposites, even if they are in tension. The exercise of understanding what are the positive and negative drivers of meeting business goals at all costs, as well as the effective and ineffective way of imposing standards, will create a powerful dialog that can help individuals and organizations find an effective balance.

We all want to do the right thing. But we are also human. Understanding how our human nature influences our decision-making gives us the power to prevent good people from doing bad things.

LEARNING IN A SHARING ECONOMY: DISRUPT OR DIE

LET’S BE REAL, OUR CLASSIC L&D WORLD WAS DESIGNED AROUND THE KNOWLEDGE
AND EXPERTISE,“HAVES AND HAVE NOTS.” THE WORLD HAS EVOLVED AND IT IS TIME
THAT WE DO AS WELL. WE DO NOT NEED MORE CONTENT AND MORE COGNITIVE
KNOWLEDGE; IT IS ALL AT OUR FINGERTIPS IN THIS AGE OF THE SHARING ECONOMY.

We live in a world of savvy, digitally native creators where little happens, even if you are an individual contributor, without the interdependency of others and the influence of outside data. Cognitive knowledge is one Bing, Google, MOOC or TedTalk away.

Gone are the days of simply rolling out “training.” We are in a world of constant change, and digital disruption is now both a tool and a distraction.

Learning and development professionals have to navigate these new realities in order to create opportunities like flipped classrooms, virtual conferences, leverage what we know about neuroscience and the power of social learning. This navigation is often further complicated by corporate restructuring that leaves us focused on helping “survivors” be our outstanding talent of the future in an environment of uncertainty and change.

We are doubling down on doing more with less in a climate where leaders who demonstrate CURIOSITY, CREATIVITY, AGILITY, and AUTHENTIC COLLABORATION hallmark true sustainable success.

The Sharing Economy is a disruption and an opportunity. With mutual need, trust, and collaboration at its heart, the sharing economy is here to stay and changing the way we do business and see the world.

The mindset of “sharing,” value-creation, opt-in, open-source, and easy access are growing expectations of our employees and customers alike. This means that we as L&D professionals need to create and curate programs that are relevant, valuable, easy to use, accessible, and very focused on leveraging the knowledge that already lives in the system. Our focus is quickly shifting to being curators and enablers of learning in action and through collaboration. This has major implications on what programs we sponsor and how we sponsor them. Gone are the days of the sage on the stage; we are now guides on the side, connecting our employees to learn from one another and leveraging the Internet umbrella of knowledge available just a few clicks away. Building technical expertise will still be important, but what will be critical is building stellar learners and sharers within our organizations. Most of the work done in today’s corporate environment requires collaboration in and across high-performance and, better yet, purpose-driven teams.

The challenge is that these teams are not only global, but that they operate virtually in a complex matrix where it is necessary for them to source their measures of success intrinsically rather than from the certainty of executing on their task as these tasks can get reprioritized in a single email exchange.

Leaders and team members alike need to possess strong interpersonal skills that translate in a virtual environment. These skills are needed to create an inclusive environment with the understanding that cultural differences matter and mutual value creation is what drives healthy interdependence.

One of the most difficult tasks for leaders of global teams in this new world is to have the humility to recognize that their styles of decision making may be deeply rooted in old ways of working before the rise of mutuality and sharing. Research shows that, in a geographically distributed team, trust is measured almost exclusively in terms of reliability so leaders of virtual teams need to concentrate on creating clear expectations for all members of the team while checking in mutual value creation within and across to other teams.

The implications for learning mean that the human elements of building trust through impeccable coordination, humility, and reliability require very different skills and mindsets for leaders. We are charged with growing leaders who have human-centered mindsets and skill sets that enable learning in action, sharing of ideas, and the agility to pivot in the moment while maintaining strong and often virtual relationships.

We are charged with tapping into the knowledge within and outside our systems. We need to curate experiences that grow adaptive systems thinking, polarity management, design-thinking, and the inclusive leadership needed to drive innovation (creativity), as well as the ability to leverage diversity, build partnerships, foster a learning attitude, and inspire vision. Devices will never replace or even compete with the learning benefits of human interaction. However, the Internet is an organizer, amplifier, and information accelerant that feeds our desire to learn with powerful tools that allow us to create our own paths of inquiry and share what we learn. Search is magic and that information has never been more engaging, accessible, and customizable. But “learning” and “development” are two different things. Current curriculum, even when delivered with the tools and media of the information age, do not fully engage leaders nor prepare them with the skills they need to prosper in the 21st century.

Global Learning and Development is no longer about rolling out training. It is about transforming the mindsets of leaders, including how they define their individual identity, and shifting success from knowing to success from learning and sharing.

We need to be thought leaders in developing expert disrupters and creating transformative environments where learning and development are as easy, seamless, respectful, and collaborative as Uber is to transportation and Airbnb is to hospitality. Virtual classrooms will only work with a strong focus on human connection and opportunities for learning in collaborative action where we are leaning on our peers and making learning and development a sign of success rather than an opportunity to prove what we know.

Search for the pain points in your organization, identify allies within the system to influence learning solutions, and make it real, relevant, valuable, and collaborative with a strong focus on humanness while leveraging the knowledge that exists within the system. As leaders who walk their talk, we need to go about this in a way that demonstrates the very mindsets and skills that we are aspiring to grow within our systems.

Investing in Our People and Culture (& why it’s good to eat dog food!)

I declare up front that I love being in Axialent and I want us all to thrive to the max. What does that mean to me? It means every single person connected to Axialent feels valued, feels satisfied, and feels they can grow with us. Whatever their connection is with us – employee, associate, advisory board member, client – for every stakeholder that’s our spirit.

This new role has come as something of a surprise, as I’ve been devoted to client facing roles for over 20 years, the last eight with Axialent. As anyone who knows me will be aware, I love my clients and my client facing work … but what may be less well-known is that I get an even bigger kick out of setting our people up for success, crafting our teams to grow in our service to clients. It’s my purpose to set people up for success, whatever success looks like for them. So my life’s work has been to help organisations, teams, and individuals fulfil their purpose – as a consultant, a coach, a facilitator, and as a leader.  Now I get to do it for us in Axialent, that’s so exciting.

And it’s humbling, too. In this role I get the chance to practice what I preach in a very pragmatic way – that chance to help lift us up to another level, to nurture and develop a culture in Axialent that’s more open, more transparent, more satisfying, and more purposeful than ever before. Our purpose is to help people express their true natures, and I’m sure we can do more to achieve that for ourselves. So how to do that? It won’t be easy, will it? As we tell our clients, it’s tough to apply the medicine to yourself, people are always somewhat blind to their own culture and need help to change it for the better. We probably think we know better than anyone how to lead and develop a great company culture, because that’s what we do … but I think we need some help to be able to stand proud of who we are, as well as what we do; to be able to say, honestly, that we ‘walk our talk’.

For that reason I’m grateful that we now have Bill Withers on our Advisory Board; Bill has committed to help us ‘eat our own dog food’ (that’s how he as he says it, he’s Australian!) by guiding us through the ‘Adapt’ journey. Adapt is a pathway of systematic actions that will help us grow stronger as an entrepreneurial company, with a strong culture and a community of satisfied, happy people who are growing together. And it’s built on the foundational practice of conscious business. Step by step, this guide will help us become the best we can be, with a brilliant company culture of consciously engaged people, producing the results we dream of.

This week we are meeting with many of our Buenos Aires staff and I will listen to their views on what will help them now, in all their diversity, to feel more included and valued, as I make the action plans for us to get on the path. I’ll report back on how we go. 🙂Cathy Glass - Speaker Kit 2013

 

Make 2016 the year your customers and employees fall back in love with you

At a recent Conscious Capitalism event, Corey Blake presented a workshop on vulnerability534244_80426672 and he used a great metaphor to open the session. He asked the participants to list all of the qualities they desired in a life partner. With very little prodding, the flip chart filled with words like:  integrity, transparency, trust, authenticity, assuming positive intent, time/attention, passion, intimacy and care.  Then there was a bit of a twist. Corey asked, “Aren’t these also the qualities that we expect from the brands we love and the organizations we spend significant parts of our lives in?” It definitely makes you think about the emotional bond that is the glue to the loyalty and commitment to the brands you love and the organizations we donate significant parts of our lives to. Conscious organizations make it easy for customers and employees to love them and are crystal clear about what would threaten this love.

Continue reading “Make 2016 the year your customers and employees fall back in love with you”

Inclusive Leadership Drives Agile & Innovative Culture

iStock_000009274651SmallWith the exponential rate of change in the world, talent wars, a competitive focus on penetrating new and emerging markets faster and more effectively, merger and acquisition growth strategies and the cultural complexities that arise accordingly, organizations are requiring a very different set of leadership competencies.

While logic, mechanical thinking and technological advances drove the past economic eras, we have now transitioned into a new economic and social era driven by more human dimensions as the world becomes more flat and our workforces much more global and diverse.  The business case for diversity is well established; however the art of the inclusive leadership necessary to leverage this diversity is still emerging.

Continue reading “Inclusive Leadership Drives Agile & Innovative Culture”

Be Different: Be Wise

descargaPerhaps the most unfortunate consequence of modern life is the loss of the instinctual wisdom-self. No where is this more evident, than in my hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico where droves of pale and pasty tourists arrive each day during the summer months to bear the dust and heat, and peer reticently into things more ancient.

Known for its Anasazi origins, Santa Fe is surrounded by Indigenous communities with names that echo ancestral embrace—names like Puyé, Tesuque, Taos, Ohkay Owingeh, Pojoaque and Cochiti. Continue reading “Be Different: Be Wise”

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