THE FUTURE A Short Guide to Getting There in One Piece
SIX: Destroying Conventions
I’ve spent my life challenging conventions – both when I was a client and then as an advisor and collaborator. Now, I believe that businesses have a critical responsibility to step up. Challenge everything, because of the absence of political or any other leadership.
Developing a friction-free mind – always rethinking and rethinking. It requires the ability to look at challenges from a number of dimensions and often all at the same time. We have to develop the opposable mind – not ‘knowing’ the right answer but iterating towards a better idea.
Always learning something, challenging our own ideas and always open to fresh input from everywhere.
There’s nothing wrong with experience. It’s alright to have opinions – even really strong ones – provided we are persuadable when new information comes along. Experience gives us a solid foundation of historical fact and even well-reasoned ideas based on lessons.
But we need to be willing – open to letting go of held beliefs, to adopt other perspectives. Given dramatic changes, we must always question the validity of the underlying thinking.
This takes new levels of self-awareness, to confront our biases, blind spots and long-held conventions.
SEVEN: Living Amid Error
Believing we are unique in our struggle is commonplace and ridiculous. According to almost everyone I meet, we are struggling as no other generation has ever struggled – utter nonsense. There’s just one area where I could be persuaded – the struggle to find time to think.
Imagine how much time you would get back if you weren’t bringing others up to speed with what’s going on in the world. There’s a pandemic of startled people out there.
I’m more conscious than ever of conversations explaining stuff we’ve all lived with for decades. It’s a simple Google search away. Whatever happened to curiosity? Why have we lost the ability to pay attention to the actual world we are inhabiting?
Why are so many people not giving a damn about anything other than how much of a struggle everything is? Take the leadership in your average business where this definitely isn’t a new phenomenon. The struggle really isn’t unique. Neither is the absence of creating the capacity to think.
Yes, we have fresh challenges – they’re happening every second of every day.
We have to deal with them or sink.
EIGHT: Solving Challenges
Saying that we urgently need to think differently is a pathetic statement in the face of our challenges. I’m forever optimistic, but for the first time in my life haven’t been able to put into words how I feel about why I am optimistic.