Everyday, people are moving on with their lives. They are getting married, having babies, building companies, hiring people, and trying to make a living.
If there's one consolation we can derive from another extended lockdown- we don't have to meet people, we don't want to meet.
We don't want to waste our time in meetings that go nowhere.
We don't have to fall in line in stores when we know we can buy online.
We don't have to drive or ride a plane to get to seminars, workshops, conferences.
But we want to, we will make a way for things to happen.
If you're not moving on, you are resisting the flow of action.
Contradictions rule our time. Everything is in flux, including yourself.
Go with flow and welcome uncertainty as a given.
Everyday my daughter and I would walk outside in the snowy yard and do all kinds of fun games.
She likes to walk and create new tracks which she would then connect together.
We need to connect our actions with what's going on with the world, the natural environment, and people systems.
We need to connect what we're thinking with our customers and adjust service offering with their needs.
We need to connect with other people and actors in our space not because we need them, but we can help and find synergy.
We need to build linkages with other sectors and industries which normally do not work together or seem to be opposite or in direct competition. These are areas to be mined for opportunities to provide a win-win solution.
We need to connect as leaders and managers to our self-awareness and tap into the potential for creative expression inside and outside of our work.
There are many reasons to feel connected and be connected with. If you're in isolation, look into the mirror.
In the last 6 months, I learned that there's no way that the epidemic or the conservative responses to the epidemic could help any forward-looking organizations get back on its track or even pursue innovation, if it's just looking at what everyone's doing.
There's no need to wait for someone or something to happen to greenlight what you want to accomplish in the next 6 months.
Either, this pandemic will pass like other flus in a natural way with the vaccine as a first-rate preventative tool or not. It's a given.
If you have the resolve to change the road you're walking on, change.
If you want to continue but adjust, adjust well.
Act on them now and let the chips fall off.
Better yet, build your own roads, streets, or traffic lights.
Don't look behind your shoulder because there's no one there, except your shadow.
The most important of all: Take care of yourself and be kind to others.
The talk about sustainability has often been centered around the triple-bottom lines: economic, environmental, and social gains.
For once, let's veer away from this construct to look at what we are doing in training, building up, and strengthening the future of the on-purpose sectors we currently inhabit.
We need to have more people working on the pipeline--- ensuring that a new provocative, insightful, and well-intuited individuals get to the next level of leadership. We have the tools in our disposal to make it happen. With the trifecta of design, data, and technology, the potentials are vast and almost limitless. We have sent humans on the moon. We can do better now than in the last 50 years.
We need our retirees to act as mentors and guides to show us what we could be working on, lessons learned, and things we can avoid if we are paying more attention to what matters most.
We need more people connecting, bridging, and sense-making our present, immediate future, and long-term futures. This means that there's enough analytics, curation, and regurgitation by everyone for everyone. Yet, we remain lost and sometimes confused, as to where these advances are leading us to and how we can invest in critical infrastructures to bring us to our desired destination.
For me, sustainable futures is all about building the next generation which is you and me and everyone that is concerned about our societies, our planet, and our economies. We can't rest on our leaders, present and future to tell us what to do and lead us boldly. Strong followership will be growing, enabling leaders to take on a symbolic and muted roles instead.
We are the strong followers.
For 2021 emergence, on-purpose organizations should prepare to walk the talk on these issues:
1. Design, Data, and Technology
The trifecta of the next 10 years will be around these: how on-purpose organizations can use design, data, and technology as mechanisms to contribute to their impact objectives?
2. Progress over Perfection
Tremendous amounts of work had been done on measurements, analytics, monitoring, and digitalization. The question for impact-driven organizations: are you following the herd or you're creating your own good practice? Are you using data strategically or is data driving you?
3. The Un-vaccined
The pandemic surfaced invisible vulnerabilities and inequities previously cosmetically glossed over by the economic data and by the bullish predictions of better times in the past few years. The un-vaccined, the new differentiated breed will be
4. Scale Deep
Scale deep into your mission because it can give you the inspiration in tough times to get back to the
In 2002, I got a rejection from a fellowship program which would have enabled me to have an international education.
Nevertheless, the same organization accepted me into their fellowship program in 2015 besting 500 other applicants vying for the prestigious placement.
In 2010, I got a rejection from a job application, noting that I was the second best but they had to choose a more qualified, Canadian-born applicant.
In less than three months, the Director got back to me and inquired if I found the job already and would like to offer a better position.
In 2015, I got an offer for a consultancy with a firm knowing that I have both two senior associates /contacts invoking my name into the project. In less than a month, I got the contract. Six months, I made the connections not knowing where these may lead.
In 2019, I got another offer after an exploratory conversation with the head officer of an organization.
In 2020, I got two offers of publishing contract after three months of selling the book idea.
You cannot second guess your next move as an impact leader. You have a set of information in your hand that you can use to move forward with confidence. Use your best judgement knowing that things may come around, or may not.
The test for this is: were you all in or half-heartedly into the game?
This year, be all in and see what happens. Uncertainty is the mother of ingenuity.