You have been working for years in a company. You have a good job. In a nice and quite morning the CEO of your company, whom you have never met in person comes up to you and asks “what would you do if were me?” – what would be your first reaction?
In my discussion with Jeroen we thought about how many people could be scared by something like this. Even people who think about it and have ideas for the company first of all would go in the defensive mode. “Why are you asking me that?”
This lets us think that there is a disconnection in companies. Leaders, due to a competitive culture, tend to think that asking for people’s help is a sign of weakness. At the same time the base of a corporate feels they are not entitled to an opinion or a voice, so even when they do have the most brilliant of ideas they won’t speak out. It is a cycle, and not solely one’s fault. But still might bring to lots of lost opportunities for organizations.
So what could be the solution? Connecting, obviously. How to connect is the hardest part. For that Jeroen had some suggestions. First –as an entrepreneur with a vast corporate experience- he developed the Inspiration Experience. Management or senior project teams of medium sized companies, large corporations or departments would immerse in a place close to nature and through inspiring examples from the world of art, nature, business and science all relevant corporate & team- issues emerged and were freely discussed within the team. An organic way of creating a sustainable connection within such a team. Showing at the same time that all different worlds are more similar than most of us realize.
The second sugestion is a reading. Specifically The book called Synchronicity, by Joseph Jaworski. The book is for those who seek how to lead (from within) with the ability to collectively shape our future. A great book about a man transforming his ideas and life, an insightful and inspiring life journey story.
Moving forward to a more connected world means also moving backwards. As showed in the documentary I Am (which is my personal recommendation – you can watch it on amazon) we grow up and were taught to compete with one another. But the human being as a species did not survive until now due to its intelligence, but because we worked in a collaborative way, or do you really think you could survive on your own in the wild just by having a bigger brain? I’m sorry to ruin your fantasy, but Rambo and Indiana Jones are just fictional movies. And even they need some help once in while.
The concepts of sharing economy and social capital sound new, but are actually the oldest things we got. In todays world we find ourselves in a global crisis that asks us to go back to what we were doing since the beginning of times. The advance on the technology allows us to do it in a mass scale. The consequence of 7 billion people sharing knowledge and making things together are way beyond what our imagination can reach, but we already have some examples.
Enabling the future is a non-profitable organization where people all over the world design 3D printed hand prosthetics for free. In that way anyone who has access to a 3D printer can print their own prosthetic arm, especially fitted for them. Now if you think that nobody has access to 3D printers, think again.
This is an example of what connected people with a purpose can do. By connecting people we don’t waste brilliant ideas, knowledge and opportunities. The same can be applied for companies, if only they are open for it.