A reflection from Peter Gustafson after participating in this week’s Copenhagen Summit (Presidents Institute)
The future belongs to those who adapt. No news there. But how do you uncover the right way forward before it’s too late?
First, you have to accept that old ways must be abandoned. That’s a bitter pill for people like me who have built careers based on a respect for tradition. We tell ourselves the old ways were engineered by geniuses who knew how to get things done. That those ways are anchored in organizations because they help employees do great work. That they help companies make money and grow.
It’s not easy for me and many others to understand the new ways everyone’s talking about. How can we adapt existing business models to a whole new logic? Is it possible?
The new ways are all about collective intelligence, a mobile lifestyle and social responsibility. They’re shaped by a massive shift in technology, e.g. that we live openly on social media, the ease of publishing and viewing videos and access to cloud services, to name a few. All these changes make life more complicated and block our view of bends in the road that are coming fast.
But you won’t see them any better by closing your eyes. The key to finding the right way forward is to not just explore new technology, but to understand how new values and new lifestyles are changing the rules in the middle of the game.
Picture from Johan Ridderstråle’s performance.
Experience: 25 years working with change management
Personal mission: To take the fear out of change
Weapon of choice: The Symbal Change Model
Change anthem: Aerosmith, Dream on
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