I am sitting in my dark cozy room in Fontainebleau, France, drinking tea, coughing like crazy (I've been on a road and rather sick), and thinking of you.
Most likely you and I've never met.
Most likely you are one of those amazing people who connected online and decided to stay around.
So, I don't have the luxury of knowing your story, learning from you, seeing you laugh out loud.
Scientists still don't really understand why being connected to others makes such a difference to human beings.
After all, it's a dog eat dog world and survival of the fittest (especially when we do come from different tribes) should make competition - not cooperation - the best biological weapon.
Yet, a 2011 study shoes that positive social relationships awake the neurobiological endogenous opioid system (that stuff in our brains that literally works like opium).
In 2015 researchers discovered that connecting to others prevents heart...
How is your week going so far?
For me, it's a busy flying-through-3-countries kind of week, filled with speaking, facilitating, and consulting.
But wherever I turn lately, wherever I speak on reinvention, or work with a company on their turn-around, I get the same question...
"How do we deal | combat | prevent | address | handle resistance to change?"
There is no one answer to this question - there are many custom-made answers for many different reasons why people resist change.
So, the first thing to do is to assess why people resist change in the first place - in your company or at your client organization.
Last week we ran a short poll on our social media channels asking people what's the number #1 reason people resist change in their companies.
We gave 5 options:
1. The risk of change is seen as greater than the risk of standing still
2. People feel overloaded and overwhelmed
3. People fear they lack the competence to change - or to survive in new reality after the change is...
It's 1947, and in the small town of Marion, Virginia at the Harwood Manufacturing Corporation' pajama factory, a bit of magic is taking place.
All workers are divided into 4 very similar groups and are asked to change the way they do things.
The changes are minor - for example (and yes, this is a real case), folding pajamas into a box, rather than on top of a flat piece of cardboard.
Yet, Group One becomes extremely aggressive towards management, sees 17% quits in the first 40 days, while productivity drops immediately to about two-thirds of its historic output rate - staying at the new low level for 30 days after the change is introduced.
Group Two loses the productivity a bit right after the change is made - but then quickly recovers. There're no quits in the first 40 days and only one act of aggression against the supervisors.
But the real miracle takes place in Groups Three and Four.
"After a slight drop on the first day...
It's nearly embarrassing to admit, but yes, I have delivered four different TEDx talks.
[Clearly, it's some form of addiction.]
My very first talk was for TEDxLjubljana nearly a decade ago.
The TEDx community was just getting started, and there were barely any people in the room.
I prepared a powerpoint that did not look good on video.
So, it was a waste for everyone involved - and I learned that form, not only content, matters.
The second talk was with TEDxKlagenfurt.
I got so excited that I ran out of time.
The talk literally sped up like a bad cartoon at the end - and I learned that less is more.
The third talk was for TEDxNavesink.
The team worked so hard to get us all ready and truly prepped.
The day of the event I had an insane fever, my skirt kept making it hard to walk, and I re-did the slides the morning of the event.
Perhaps because I was miserable and sick - or because my AMAZING coaches kept nudging me on - but in the...
It’s time for some real talk.
But first, let me set the stage.
I first asked this question during an Executive MBA course I was teaching about a decade ago.
The room was filled with experienced professions who really had some mileage behind them.
So, imagine my surprise, when my question was met with absolute I-don’t-know-what-to-say silence.
No, I was not asking about anything private, weird, or inappropriate.
All I asked was this:
What value have you created last week?
Not your company. Not your business unit. You.
Simple question, right?
So it’s so remarkable how many of us have trouble with the answer.
We adore our product and services, we love or hate our processes, we celebrate or cry over our financial results… But value… That seems very abstract.
Yet, without a real grasp of value creation, reinvention is not possible – it’s all about new and improved ways of creating value.
I still remember the first time I heard of “writer’s block” – that sticky gloomy moment when a writer loses the creative spark and keeps staring at the blank page with no words coming out.
I was writing my second book.
Nothing was coming out.
And I just wanted to figure out what in a world was wrong with me.
(Nothing. It’s normal. Happens to everyone).
Well, these days writer’s block is not my issue – but reinventor’s block is.
Occasionally I simply get stuck.
No new reinvention ideas.
No juicy brainstorms.
(For a person who makes money reinventing, that’s a MAJOR issue).
Luckily, after a few rounds of reinventor’s block, I discovered an easy fix: get inspired.
See fresh reinvention ideas.
Review the stories you already know.
Get energized by other’s ability to re-think, re-new, re-build.
And your inner-reinventor will definitely wake up.
So, just in case you are...
Our team at Chief Reinvention Officer had a big September.
First, I made a trip around the world (Columbus - Toronto - Frankfurt - Nur Sultan - Seoul - Vancouver - Chicago - Columbus.... Even typing it up makes me dizzy!)
Then we launched the Fall 2019 Class of our foundations-of-reinvention course. (All those emails. Yes, we are done. Back to weekly articles!)
Then we started our own company reinvention - our quest for better team flow, better tech, better value for all of you...
So, when the idea came up to hold our next big strategic discussion while taking a walk at a beautiful park, I jumped.
What can be better than talking about letting go of no-longer-useful ideas while watching the trees letting go of their leaves?!
So, here we were, turning a corner of the park, talking about our mission - about the shift required in how we manage our organizations to meet the challenges of speed and uncertainty.
I am in my normal all-knowing preachy self, talking a lot.
I still remember the moment.
I was working on this new free knowledge platform that still did not have a name.
We all knew that it is desperately needed - after all, the demand for helping companies and non-profits to survive disruption was so high, that we had to say "no" to most requests for help.
We knew it was time to make our knowledge and tools public and radically accessible.
But we did not know how to describe it.
So, Mark Levy, our positioning extraordinaire, asked me: "If what you do in companies had a title, what would it be?"
That was a tough one.
I went through a list one by one.
Chief Innovation Officer? No, my job is also about protecting the old...
Chief Transformation Officer? We are so tired of the word transformation - and it so rarely produces results!
Chief Strategy Officer? But what about implementation...
And then it just came out. Chief Reinvention Officer.
Mark stopped for a second (he is a very tough critic, so I was bracing for...
I am sitting at the airport in South Korea, wondering how can I convince you to take the time and join me for a new live online Masterclass.
I am thinking of a story to tell.
Or a clever tagline to entice you with.
Or a piece of data to feature that will show you how useful this virtual get-together gonna be.
But all of it seems like a cheap marketing trick.
And we are talking about life and death here – quite literally – life and death of your organization or your career.
As I am writing these words, a client is waiting on WhatsApp to get help with a list of disruptions that only a few years ago would be unimaginable.
US-China (and the whole world) trade war.
New breakthrough technology making his products absolute.
Every kind of threat of ecological disaster from climate change to the catastrophic...
I am not going to lie.
Seeing headlines like this one make me cringe:
There is no question that we are due for a good crisis.
After all, just like nature’s seasons, the global economy is cyclical – and we’ve been in the longest period of growth since 1854.
It’s time for a recession.
It’s not a matter of “if.”
After a long summer, winter IS coming.
So, the real question is not whether recession and disruption are knocking on our door.
The real question is: How do we prepare?
To answer this question, my team and I went through tons of research that looked in-depth at the lessons learned from the past.
What we discovered (with no surprise) is that in the last economic recessions about 17% of all publicly traded companies did not survive.
What was, however, surprising – and very exciting – is that about 9% of the companies not only survived, but THRIVED.
In other words, if you...