How do we make sure we continue to see the world with different eyes ? How can this be part of the way we operate? How do we embrace digital? How to move away from our fixed reference frameworks and open our mindsets? How do we involve those that see differently?
A kids’ board.
Kids see the world through a different lens. They are fresh, creative, unbounded, digital natives, unconfined, without preconceived ideas. They help us to reconnect with our inner child. ‘We wanted to see the future, so we asked people with the boldest vision. You know, kids. In summary, with a little imagination everything is possible.’
Their innocence is disarming even for the most jaded business person, but that’s not the most important thing to take away. Kids, with their unlimited view of the world, their unhindered expectations of the future, are able to predict how technology can play a role in the future as they are born with digital at their fingertips. They can imagine the future world, what technology can do in their daily live and how everything is connected.
Tintin Snack: Kids are the digital makers – digital natives born with digital literally at their fingertips – and they see the world very differently. They have a different reference framework. My view, born in 1968, was playing with Action Man, watching a couple of TV channels, and my first computers were a Spectrum Texas, a Commodore 64, an Apple II C and an Apricot.
One of the tricks for thinking about the possibilities of the world is not to use our own reference framework. Consider having a ‘kids’ board’ for your company to challenge your way of thinking. Get kids to give their opinions about what you’re doing and producing. They can support you in ideation and innovation. They are more a yes-we-can generation and we can help the yes-no-but-however people in the organisation. They are digital natives at heart.
Tintin Snack: avoid the ‘no, but, however’ people. These people always have a ‘no’, ‘but,’ or ‘however’ to add to the conversation. They have fixed mindsets, are innovation, energy and conversation killers. Marshall Goldsmith, prolific best-selling author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, suggest that we not only monitor our colleagues for this fixed mindset tendency, but that we monitor our own language too.
Kids are so adaptive. They see opportunities, they can transpose things they’ve learned in digital to the rest of the world. A kids’ board would clearly think with a different reference framework.
Go out today and find yourself some youngsters (8-18y) to help you imagine and challenge the future of your business, products and services. Invite them to come for a full day to join your teams as this will fuel a lot of creativity.
A Geeks’ board.
You might also envision a geeks’ board. MIT has found that digitally adept companies are 26% more profitable than their competitors.
However, a recent study showed that many boards lacked understanding on how disruptive digital is to a business, or how cybersecurity and digital transformation can steer changes in strategy, decision making and success or failure of a company. At the board level, there is clearly a need for geeks: directors or strong individuals who can put technology to use, who see and can energise to determine the way forward. And this should not only be outsourced to external management consultants or start-ups as digital DNA needs to be at the core of your company. The time is here to act, don’t wait.
Your internal or external talent pool is limited and waiting to be recruited. So if you don’t have any geeks in the company, start hiring some. Start finding technonerds and technology savvy people, that play with the latest tech, social business tools and the newest ‘toys’.
Although I loved working on technology – I’ve always been a computer geek at heart – my professors encouraged me to get a real-world job working with customers. Marc Benioff, CEO Salesforce.com
A Trend spotting board.
Consider installing a strategic trend watching and fact finding board at the heart of your company, their objectives being to identify key digital transformation trends in your and other industries and look out for new entrants. They will monitor what the market is saying about you, what your customers are saying, look for competitive trends to inform strategy, digital monetisation opportunities and recommended plans, and determine the conditions to incubate ideas with the right mindset. They can act as a advisory council on the future.
- Key objectives for your trend watching and fact finding board:
‘Where is the puck going?’ Act as an outside-in trend beacon across groups, independent of hierarchy, to see and advise on key digital transformation trends, innovations, competitive trends, their implications and changes in the digital landscape
- ‘Develop the business strategy ready for the digital age and the customer of tomorrow?’ Determine future growth opportunities based on market trends and where the industry demand is going, advise on ways to differentiate, help with defence-offence and/ or game changing parts for the whole business
- ‘Develop an innovative culture?’ To transform (profit of tomorrow) while performing (profit of today).
And finally, another option could be to initiate a disruption board. Going from iteration (doing the same things better), to innovation (doing new things) to disruption (doing new things that make the old ones obsolete). Even if some people might not like the word disruption, it makes it clear what the board’s purpose is.
Or if you want to be more positive, you could call it a future board.
The world will be divided not just between the strong and the weak or the rich and the poor, but between the learners who are open to change their abilities and the non-learners with fixed mindsets. Open your mind, create a culture of transformation and explore the world outside of your comfort zone. Explore having a kids’, geeks’ and trend board. Or mix all them as part of your future board.
If you are interested for more feel free to connect with me for a chat, a presentation, a workshop and/or an executive whispering session.
You might also be interested in my book The Dualarity, or to go through the short Dualarity Fitness Test or sign-up for the newsletter on www.thedualarity.com.
As international Public Speaker, Trend Sensemaker, Executive Whisperer, Corporate Innovator, Sparkle builder and Author, I help businesses to find the balance between performing and transforming.