In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of thinking systemically and sustainably, in order to be best prepared for the future. Advances in technology and the workplace transition from on-premise to remote, to now a hybrid of the two, promises disruption after disruption, but what does this mean for the organisation of the future? Beyond talk of digital human and driverless cars, how can humans relate to the future? Here are five things to bear in mind as your organisation prepares for future change.
Grow the ability to process information
At Xenergie, we moot that it’s not just where we go into the future, but HOW we go. What tools are needed to navigate and understand what is happening around us? It’s evident from the state of mental health today that humans have not been well equipped to deal with current disruption. People need bigger hearts and bigger minds: our ability to see and understand our existence, and our capacity as people to deal with issues requires a new toolbox for handling and facing this complexity.
From personal development and mind tools on phone apps to AI, data mapping and technology that helps process data faster for us, there is plenty already going on. As we progress forward, it is the emotional upgrade to our brains that will make the difference between people running for the hills in fear, and throwing blame at each other to finding a way to sit more serenely with what is happening, manage it and find a way through this journey, with an ability to both face endings, and grasp the opportunity of new beginnings.
See resources in new places
We have the knowledge, we have resources, we have an innate will to survive …and still we feel we do not have enough or are enough. Resources have a direct connection to how we value and see our lives. It’s our way of seeing, being, and doing that limits us from finding more currencies of value, and from leveraging and sharing what we have between us.
Put very simply, this is largely due to a real difficulty with co-existing and sharing, and the element of fear connected with power and survival which pervades everything. One only has to look at the circumstances surrounding homelessness and poverty to see that it is a systemic issue connected to how people have come to feel about the value of themselves and their existence. It’s a tough subject to fully embrace, but recognising that together we have plenty, and alone we are poor is one of the first steps to navigating future challenges.
Humans have an innate ability to create and re-create. However, our creative instinct has been crushed by the vast industrialisation of our world which focused on replicating things, and modern slavery to produce more of the same. Creativity became sidelined to the world of “starving artists”, whose work is often generated from the edge of society where they find the inspiration, and young children innocent to the judgements of adult life.
Being creative is associated with risk and a level of eccentricity. In the new world, creativity will be mainstream and prolific, and realising it into things will happen much faster. It is OK to be who you are, damnit you have a right to be!
From 3D printing to mind technology, our ability to imagine and produce something tangible will become far more fluid. It will be the foundation of new past times, as we have fun manifesting what lies in our imagination. Be careful, then, what you imagine – thoughts become things, and things create more things.
Awareness is Queen
Given that the power of thought will have a fast ripple of impact, the quality of one’s mind becomes key. Karma will show up quicker! It is no surprise that the personal development industry has been one of the fastest-growing in the last decade and that now almost no one is promoted to a leadership position without some form of training in awareness.
However, now the ask of leadership capacity is on steroids when it comes to processing information and awareness, drawing on many more dimensions, condemning the balanced scorecard and the annual accounts to the museum of boardrooms past.
Leaders have a real responsibility to mind the unconscious dynamics of organisations. This takes a giant leap into the “soft stuff”- the new hard. The new world of the achiever requires them to be a catalyst, not a commander and to have a robust process for trawling the depths of the unconscious waters like a submarine radar. When we move faster and our world is melting, icebergs appear faster and unexpectedly.
Self-Authoring Teams – do we need Leaders anymore?
As awareness grows, what next for leaders? The C-Suite will become a sensemaking function that is focused on managing the thriving and wellness of the organisation’s health in a holistic manner.
In the future, teams will not be hierarchical, functionalised and fixed. Rather, they’ll need to be dynamic and purpose-driven, project-focused and multi-faceted in membership. Most of all they will be responsible for their outcomes, which will be determined by their inputs and quality of processing. This calls for a high level of self-management and an ability to think broadly across the business and centre around your raison d‘etre – the stakeholders you serve. It also calls for a deep sense of connection to the purpose of the business – as if it has a spirit – because this is the source of life and inspiration.
How can you start preparing for the future?
These are just some of the changes we foresee for which organisations need to build a capability now. Xenergie’s programmes train your leaders to work with this through a range of programmes.
If this hasn’t already blown your mind, and you’re hungry for more, here’s where you can start.
- Many senior leaders choose to opt for 1-1 consultations to help get their heads around the challenge – even a few sessions will lay out some tangible next steps and inspire your thinking.
- Others enjoy participating in small learning groups to share and learn with others - our Advanced Diploma in Systemic Culture Transformation is a highly engaging way to learn in community and have a laboratory to reinvent yourself and your approach.
- We also facilitate workshops, such as Culture Journeys and Journey Mapping, to help you map your next steps, for you and your team. This makes an excellent approach to working with strategy, developing your team and succession planning – because remember now is the time you need to develop your future leaders.
- We also encourage you to join our community of change leaders. Connect with us to hear more about our forthcoming collective intelligence events.