COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION AND THE OVERVIEW EFFECT
II. CORPORATE BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION
Dr. Charles E. Smith is a Futurist, Author, and Executive Coach. For fifty years, he has been a personal and leadership coach and organizational behavior consultant stimulating breakthrough thinking, culture change and seemingly impossible results. He says,
“I was invited into a leadership group for a division of the largest information technology company in the world, which wanted to turn products made in five different countries into one product accessible on one screen. Leaders were not getting along. Some wouldn’t speak to others unless pressed. Many products were unprofitable, and some didn’t sell at all. They were incoherent in a company famed for coherence.
To begin, each person was introduced to the Talking Stick and then one person at a time would hold it, speak from their heart and say what was really true for them in the moment. When done, they were to pass the stick to someone else.
Before the meeting, I was scared. I’d never done this in big business and feared the experience would be refused and haunt me. This was a corporation with a conservative culture. I kept thinking that this would be too weird for them.
I was as surprised as they were. From the first speaker, the experience of conflict disappeared and was replaced with awareness that they were in this together. Judgments, opinions, arguments about right and wrong, and competition disappeared. Over time, this became a new way of doing business; new ideas and possibilities began to happen naturally. No one could explain just what happened as the organization and products were simplified and the place came to make both business and human sense. In one year, access to 1500 products had been reduced to one computer screen, whether eliminated or integrated, and substantial manufacturing was saved in each country.”