A new kind of economy is emerging – call it the information economy, call it the connected economy, call it what you will. The world of business is transforming, a shift that rivals the onset of the Industrial Revolution in its impact on society and in the way commerce is transacted. With this shift, managers are finding many of their background assumptions and time honoured business models inadequate to help them understand what is going on, let alone how to deal with it. Where managers once operated with a model of their world as a machine, which was predicated on linear thinking, control and predictability, they now find themselves struggling with something more organic and non-linear, where limited control and a restricted ability to predict are the order of the day. No wonder most managers and executive professionals are uneasy and eagerly seeking new ways of coping. One thing is certain in all of this, however: you can’t figure out what to do in the future by looking at how you did things in the past. (Lewin and Regine :The Soul at Work. Unleashing the power of complexity science for business success : 1999 : 4).
There is a lot of talk these days about REINVENTING – the Organisation, or the Industry, or even just a process or a product.
The concept is used superficially and indiscriminately, without the vaguest appreciation of what reinvention really entails. Suffice it to say that you cannot reinvent your Organisation, Industry, Community, Country, Profession, or Products, WITHOUT FIRST REINVENTING YOURSELF. When people glibly talk about reinventing an organisation, the process, as far as they are concerned, typically involves improvement of some kind. There is a focus on DOING, on fixing, or improving this or that.
This is a consequence of the sixteenth-century Newtonian mechanical, and deterministic view of the universe that still guides much thinking today, but which has become increasingly dysfunctional in these times of interdependence, rapid change and even chaos. Typically, re-engineering, incremental improvement, benchmarking, best practice and even Paradigm Shift, fall under the umbrella of the so-called Universal Human Paradigm, with its preoccupation on doing, fixing, or improving.
There is no denying that all these processes are useful, and at times necessary – but they cannot remotely be classified as reinvention. For example, in order to shift a paradigm, you have to have one, whereas to reinvent a paradigm, you have to CREATE one that doesn’t exist in your current reality. Therefore the executive who would master reinvention must journey into a largely unfamiliar, and at times, uncomfortable territory. In this territory a crucial dimension is hidden until we learn to distinguish it.
This is the territory or domain of BEING.
Reinvention entails the creation of a new context. The art and craft of continuously engineering SHIFTS IN BEING, which in turn produce sustainable, unprecedented results, which could even be designated as IMPOSSIBILITIES. The capacity to discover and participate in our unfolding future has more to do with our BEING – our total orientation of character and consciousness – than with our DOING.
Leadership reinvention is a series of radical transformations in which you put at stake the success you’ve become for the power of making the impossible happen. Through seven distinct transformations, you completely reinvent yourself as a leader by redefining your reality of the past, present and future, and your relationship to taking risks, winning, action, and being extraordinary.
We regularly conduct Leadership Reinvention workshops.
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