by Dawna Jones, Connecting Decisions to Creating Prosperity
Departing from 'Business as Usual' starts with respecting fundamental human values. Redesigning companies in motion also requires highly amplified awareness and clarity. Startup entrepreneurs are at an advantage, working with a clear slate. Yet even startup decision makers are limited by their sense-making capabilities. Vigilance and perpetual growth is imperative.
In the near term, it is likely large corporations will die a slow, ponderous death. Apart from the few enlightened large companies, risk aversion will sabotage growth.
The Company is a Scaled Version of the Human Body
In 2006, biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton described with precise detail why corporate performance is similar in scale to the human body. Through the lens of biology and fractals, he connected biology and psychology to the human spirit. How the social and emotional environment shaped behaviour clarified why some companies grew and others failed. How cells, with unlimited potential, decide to differentiate and specialize to take on specific tasks in order to make the whole organism successful. The knowledge he shared informs your ability to direct your leadership expression.
Had more companies had been listening then, fewer would be sliding the same slippery downhill slope today. Innovation is a must in today's world but companies cannot attain it with feet planted squarely in protecting pas t successes. Staying sustainable requires growth-oriented thinking and capacity to manage your responses as the context changes.
Reinventing Companies Through Decision Making 5.0 Principles
Armed with diverse thinking and stronger skill set, it is possible to reinvent even giant companies. It has been done before, but it takes a much higher level of leadership. And that is rooted in more advanced skills.
Decision makers today must:
Have a higher tolerance for ambiguity. Change is happening fast. With the Internet of Things, IBM estimates that knowledge will double every twelve hours. To put that into perspective, post World War II knowledge developed every 25 years. Now, it doubles every 13 months. True, your brain can process and store a lot of data. But it's time to share the load so you can relax and see reality with a clearer lens.
"All of us are smarter than any of us" - IDEO
Decision Making 5.0 Principle #1: Decentralize decision-making - those closest to the information make the decision. The company gains agility and, promising multiple feedback loops are in place, everyone stays fluent with emerging conditions. You gain control over decisions that affect you.
Think Flexibly: Big picture visionary thinkers like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford hired analytical thinkers to get work done. Biologically everyone has unlimited potential, but to achieve the company's purpose, labour accepted specialized roles. Consequently analytical thinking became more highly valued. But without big picture thinkers, innovation is barely incremental. Focus is reduced to: "What ideas will fit what we already know?" Result? Nothing new or big can emerge.
Only a fraction of human intelligence in companies is being tapped - sad given the depth of potential. To adapt to the magnitude and speed of change, a serious commitment to learning and valuing multiple intelligences starts with you.
Decision Making 5.0 Principle #2: Engaging diverse perspectives and intelligence is key. Unfortunately, past practice translates diversity of views into negative conflict. Treating conflict as something to be fixed or resolved is out. Using conflict to ask questions out of curiosity is in. Uncover other ways of seeing the situation. The company gains access to more positive focused energy with less negative impact. Individuals receive a renewed sense of contribution.
Engage mindfulness: Mindfulness is about paying attention to what you are paying attention to moment to moment. Otherwise stress ignites default reactions and you have no way to manage your response Noticing your inner emotional world is essential if companies are to break free and take action-oriented decisions up a level or two. Pause. Listen deeply to your inner voice. Without mindfulness, growth cannot take place. Instead, fear holds the wheel, steers your focus and your executive faculties remain offline. Neurologically mindfulness practises make a significant difference as companies like SAP, Oakley and the military recognize.
Decision Making 5.0 Principle #3: Meditate mindfully. For some, meditation is hard if not impossible. Yet the answers to every problem faced in business today are sourced in your deep wisdom. When feeling stressed, stop, focus on your breathing and nothing else. Your mind will try to distract you but bring it back to focus. Jack Kornfield, meditation teacher, likened training the mind to training a puppy. It keeps wandering off so bring it back. Science confirms mindfulness is a vehicle for stronger well being and better cognitive functioning plus other benefits. Better cognitive functioning means better decision-making.
Sense, then step into the space between thought and action.
"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." - Viktor Frankl
Know who and what you are serving. Each decision achieves a goal, most often subconscious. Is it to meet your own needs or advance your career? If so, you are in the company of 85% of U.S. decision makers in business today with one foot ready to discover more of your capabilities.
Is your company making a contribution to societal health? To restoring Nature's capital? Is the company tackling the impact of climate change? Thinking big?
Bring the vision to the front and center. Discover whether others share it.
Decision Making 5.0 Principle #4: Know what you stand for, what gives you energy, and holds meaning and purpose. Without an anchor, you'll fall for anything, including corporate near-sightedness. Thinking about the impact of your decisions will bring your decisions closer to harmonize with your heart's desires.
Key to redesigning organizations is acceptance of responsibility for leading yourself. Upgrading perceptual awareness and regulating your responses is fundamental. Without these and other skills, neither entrepreneurial change leadership nor inspired innovation can vault over systemic barriers. A whole scale shift in worldview is underway. It calls forth more from each person and invites company's willing to risk growth, to step forward.
Exponential change and complexity changes the skills required for making decisions. Choosing to be a contributor to reinventing business begins with you then scales to the collective. The power of the human spirit and desire for freedom fuels entrepreneurial radical change.
Buckle your seat belts! It is an exciting ride!
Dawna Jones knows business can transmute itself to be better for society and the ecological community we depend on. Working together and raising decision-making skills to higher levels is an experiential learning journey. Contact Dawna to learn about custom designed programs for releasing human potential drawing on the best of being human.
Dawna is also the author of Decision Making for Dummies, on Steve Denning's (Forbes) list of 8 noteworthy books for 2014. She hosts the Evolutionary Provocateur podcast. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or through LinkedIn.