Isn't Dickens amazing? He was able to describe the times we are living right now!
We have the best of times, we have the worst of times
It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness
It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity
It was the Season of Light, it was the Season of darkness
It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair
We had everything before us, we had nothing before us
We are all going direct to Heaven, we are all going direct in the other way
The impact sector is inundated with the latest jargons: decolonizing, indigenizing, circulation/circular economy, digital transformation, human-centered, etc. Everywhere you go, whether in health, trade, technology, community development, and other fields, these are the fashionable ideas.
Recently, I came across network colleagues pushing for digital transformation for the small and medium-sized enterprise they are trying to serve. Apparently, this transformation has three to four meanings depending on interpretation, none of which serve the small and micro-businesses' interests now and in the near future!
Our sector is overstimulated with all these buzzwords that will continue to be regurgitated by anyone who thought that they hold the promise to the future or unlock a key insight into the human evolution.
If organizations continue to adapt the 'next shiny object' without integrating what works and what they already have, they are likened to a mouse on a spinning wheel. They're busy for sure but they're not going very far.
If you add these 4-5 ideas on to your plate, what are you trying to dislodge?
Focus is the key in the long game. The emperor has no clothes on.
Last year, I discussed that Mission is not Enough. Being an on-purpose organization alone without exhibiting sufficient value for society through their target partners is a major degeneracy.
Few organizations behave differently in purpose sector and do not exhibit these following traits or tell these drama:
1) Self-privileged- We do good in the world, therefore you should....... us.
2) Poor us, we do God's work-We don't have money for investing with our talent, systems, and operational excellence. We don't have overhead, therefore, you should trust us to be excellent in delivery. Non-sequitur..
3) It's enough to do good- We don't need to innovate. Our mission speaks for our existence and that's enough for you to give as grants, donations, etc. Mission is not enough. Being good seldom works.
4) There's too much need out there, we are overstretched, please stop demanding more!- We don't need to do better than what we do currently.
These are lame excuses for organizations whose relevance has become antedated without them knowing.
Look yourself in the mirror, if these are the same words you are operating with in late 2020 as an executive, get out of the way or get your acts together.
Nobody will ever laud that your organization existed, they only care if you have performed well beyond society's expectations.
People nowadays, tend to equate game changer with change maker.
These two have very different connotations.
Would you want to be a game changer? or a change maker?
Game changing is about changing the direction of the game (or game itself), reframing the scope and parameters of the engagement, and ensuring that you come out with a winner's advantage. This can be a short-term project or a long-term horizon perspective. Consistent game changers are Apple, Amazon, Fedex, to name a few.
Whereas, being a change maker reminds me of the long-term work that needs to happen to get our audacious goals for ourselves, our communities, our enterprises succeed.
You can position yourself as both.
This world calls for game changers with the short-term stakes on the pie, and change markers with the eye for long-term sustainable progress.
But, if you have to choose, choose game changing, because the ambiguous future looks to bold and audacious leaders who are willing to stretch the imagination of society, so that we can all come out thriving, not just surviving.
Game changing doesn't require a lot of brain power, or talent, or more connections. It doesn't require you shift lanes or careers or jobs. It doesn't require lots of capital infusion.
They can see the writing on the wall when others are busy mounting on their saddles again. It's called prescience, reinvention, mining opportunities, and #beyondresilience attitude.
Drop me a line to learn more about these new concepts.
Mama, your head looks like water melon.
Your eyebrows look like hinges.
Your nose is like a triangle.
Your hair looks like thick noodles.
Your eyes look like small water melon.
Your armpit looks like a flute.
Your legs like wagon wheels.
Your feet like book shelf.
In short, I look like this-
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
Count your blessings!
The vista post-pandemic will be entirely different, if not ambiguous, to say the least.
The things that we previously say 'no' to, becomes 'yes, we can try.'
The things that are off-limits or too-distant, become possible.
Barriers are starting to fall, to make room for adaptation.
Doors are beginning to open up, when previously shut on your face.
Since the crisis, I have been speaking with or training people from distant lands such as Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Hongkong, and recently Bangladesh. I am honored to be learning alongside them in this time.
People are missing the in-person connections because presence is WHAT MAKES US HUMANS!
We long for the day that we can travel again or visit folks or hold parties and weddings the way we do.
But the future will be totally different, we might as well accept that fact and make room in our minds for the inevitable modifications.
Yes, we can adapt to changes, without being fearful, forced into it, or depressed.
We welcome the ambiguity and we mine it the opportunities presented by the crisis.
We will wake up everyday ready to be surprised!