Becoming a Courageous organization- HEROIC blog series

Becoming a Courageous Organization

COURAGEOUS, LEADING ORGANIZATIONS release themselves from the illusion of control and predictability and encourage diversity. They embrace the mindset of change, being prepared not to be prepared.

The Covid crisis in the spring forced many of us to scramble to reinvent the way we do business.  In June, together with Sekaten, we talked to 160 business people from around the world to better understand what they had learned from the crisis, how confident they were that they could continue to learn and adapt and what insights they had gathered about the changes needed in the way we do business.
Six systemic themes emerged from this dialogue, which we organized under the acronym ‘HEROIC’ or ‘Human, Empathetic, Role Model, Open, Innovation and Courage’.  Today, I am going to discuss the sixth and final – being courageous.

 

“In business, courageous action is really a special kind of calculated risk taking.” (Reardon, 2007)*.  The Covid crisis did not allow much time for calculation. However, the pure uncertainty of the current situation and what lies ahead forced us to take new risks in the way we interact with each other.

The value of this newfound courage to deal with the unpredictable and to prepare us for the unexpected was not lost on our 160 participants.  They clearly see the value of diverse, flexible organizations where ‘command and control’ is a thing of the past.

The main themes that emerged  during our eDialogue were the following:

  • Let Go of Command and Control   Command and control style is over. There is an awareness and understanding that the drive for forecasting, controlling and focus on financial performance belongs to the past and does not contribute to a sustainable world for all.

 

  • Prepare Not to Be Prepared  Develop the capacity to accept unpredictability, complexity and Open to uncertainty, leading organizations navigate through the unknown instead of running desperately after the predictable.

 

  • Throw Away Ego and Greed   Leading organizations embark on a journey from ego- to eco-centric world, from greed to generosity, from self-centric to people-centric interests.

 

  • Embrace Diversity   Leading organizations are inclusive – promoting gender and ethnic diversity. They understand the value of diverse ideas and viewpoints. They do not hire yes-men or ‘mini-me’s. They give opportunities to people with non-traditional profiles.

 

If you would like to learn more about HEROIC organizations and our study, please click on this link to download a copy of the report: The HEROIC REPORT

 

* Reardon, K.K. (2007).  Courage as a Skill. Harvard Business Review, January. https://hbr.org/2007/01/courage-as-a-skill

 

A blog series by Anne Clark

Becoming an Innovative organization- HEROIC blog series

Becoming an Innovative Organization

INNOVATIVE ORGANIZATIONS are agile and adaptive.  They understand that technology enables proximity even at physical distance. Human interconnectedness can accelerate change and promote innovation.

The Covid crisis in the spring forced many of us to scramble to reinvent the way we do business.  In June, together with Sekaten, we talked to 160 business people from around the world to better understand what they had learned from the crisis, how confident they were that they could continue to learn and adapt and what insights they had gathered about the changes needed in the way we do business.
Six systemic themes emerged from this dialogue, which we organized under the acronym ‘HEROIC’ or ‘Human, Empathetic, Role Model, Open, Innovation and Courage’.  Today, I am going to discuss the fifth – being innovative.

 

The Covid crisis has forced us to master new skills at a faster pace than ever before.  As the May 2020 Barrett Values Centre survey showed, transformation that normally would have taken 5-7 years seemed to happen in just 6 weeks.  An MITSloan Management Review article also discussed this ‘ultrafast’ innovation.  To deal with the pandemic companies need to repurpose technologies and experiment with new technologies.  This, in turn requires a higher level of collaboration than ever before (von Krogh, G., Kucukkeles, B. and Ben-Menahem, S.M., 2020)*

Our 160 participants also talked about the impact of Covid-19 on innovation.  The main themes that emerged were the following:

  • Accelerate Change   Innovative, agile organizations know that when people work together change can take place quickly. (And there is no better evidence than what happened during the Great Pause this spring.) They foster the emergence of a self-organized community that allows them to speed up and adapt faster. They embrace the idea that “change is constant” and can be fun.

 

  • Foster Connectivity  Innovative, adaptive organizations develop new ways of collaboration based on human and digital interconnectedness. Thanks to the Great Pause in the spring, virtual relationships are appreciated more than ever, and it seems that geographical borders have faded or become less important.

 

  • Applaud Resilience and the Creativity it Engenders   Drowned in the ambiguity and complexity of the Great Pause, organizations found themselves confronted with a blank page on which they needed to draw new ways forward. This unleashed limitless creativity and allowed them to adapt and transform. This resilience should be maintained.

Innovation is not new.  But in the new Covid-19 world, it seems to have become more the norm than the exception.  Our participants saw this surge in innovation as a positive and something that should be built upon moving forward.

In my next blog, I will discuss the sixth and final theme of HEROIC organizations – being Courageous.

If you would like to learn more about HEROIC organizations and our study, please click on this link to download a copy of the report: The HEROIC REPORT

 

* von Krogh, G., Kucukkeles, B. & Ben-Menahem, S.M. (June 2020).  Lessons in Rapid Innovation from the Covid-19 Pandemic.  MITSloan Management Review, Summer Issue. https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/lessons-in-rapid-innovation-from-the-covid-19-pandemic/

 

A blog series by Anne Clark

Becoming an Open organization- HEROIC blog series

Becoming an Open Organization

OPEN, LEARNING ORGANIZATIONS enable the emergence of motivated communities where members continuously coach each other, transform and develop themselves. They are trust-based ecosystems where people feel comfortable to listen to and learn from each other.

The Covid crisis in the spring forced many of us to scramble to reinvent the way we do business.  In June, together with Sekaten, we talked to 160 business people from around the world to better understand what they had learned from the crisis, how confident they were that they could continue to learn and adapt and what insights they had gathered about the changes needed in the way we do business.
Six systemic themes emerged from this dialogue, which we organized under the acronym ‘HEROIC’ or ‘Human, Empathetic, Role Model, Open, Innovation and Courage’.  Today, I am going to discuss the fourth – being open.

In thinking about this blog, I came across a Harvard Business review article on creating a learning environment that begins as follows:  “Technology is disrupting every industry and area of life, and work is no exception…. As a result, there is now a premium on … the desire and ability to quickly grow and adapt one’s skill set to remain employable.”  (Chamorro-Premuzic and Bersin, 2018)*.  It occurred to me that by substituting ‘Covid 19’ for the word ‘technology’, one would have an almost perfect description of the past 7 months’ experience. The Covid crisis has forced all of us to master new skills, both technical and other, that many of us had never even considered before.  It has required us to listen to and learn from each other in a way we have never before experienced.

The value of this newfound openness to learning was not lost on our 160 participants.  They clearly see the value of an open, learning environment going forward.  The main themes that emerged were the following:

  • Ask rather than Tell  Good at engaging, co-creating, and dialoguing on a large scale, learning organizations naturally foster coaching culture. An “ask rather than tell” style enables meaningful dialogues supporting self-development where people coach others with love and respect.

 

  • Create a Learning Community  Learning organizations establish a feedback culture and have a great capacity to share knowledge at all levels of the organization. Becoming a living learning community, they enable people to help each other to constantly grow and adapt.

 

  • Encourage Personal Development   Learning organizations invest in self-awareness and self-improvement. These are the pillars of a collective awareness that organizations do not transform, people do.

The value of a learning environment is not a new concept, but at the time the HBS article was written, only about 10% of companies had achieved this (Chamorro-Premuzic and Bersin).  However, the Covid Crisis has demonstrated not only the value of an open, learning environment but also how quickly this environment can be fostered when there is a need.   It has forced us to listen to each other more carefully and to learn from each other.  And that is something to take with us into the post-Covid era.

In my next blog, I will discuss the fifth theme of HEROIC organizations – being Innovative.

If you would like to learn more about HEROIC organizations and our study, please click on this link to download a copy of the report: The HEROIC REPORT

 

* Chamorro-Premuzic, T. & Bersin, J. (2018).  4 Ways to Create a Learning Culture on Your Team. Harvard Business Review, July, 12. https://hbr.org/2018/07/4-ways-to-create-a-learning-culture-on-your-team

 

A blog series by Anne Clark

Organizations as Role Models – HEROIC blog series

Organizations as Role Models

EXEMPLARY ORGANIZATIONS engage all stakeholders in co-authoring a higher and more meaningful purpose. Operating from love and respect rather than fear-based consciousness, they reorganize society according to human and planet well-being.

The Covid crisis in the spring forced many of us to scramble to reinvent the way we do business.  In June, together with Sekaten, we talked to 160 business people from around the world to better understand what they had learned from the crisis, how confident they were that they could continue to learn and adapt and what insights they had gathered about the changes needed in the way we do business.
Six systemic themes emerged from this dialogue, which we organized under the acronym ‘HEROIC’ or ‘Human, Empathetic, Role Model, Open, Innovation and Courage’.  Today, I am going to discuss the third – acting as a role model.

Less time commuting + less time at lunch + less time at the water cooler = more time to think about what we are doing and why.  Are we working just to make money and sell products or can we work together to also add value to our community and the environment?  Is it not time to translate our values into deeds?

The 160 people we spoke to apparently had spent quite a bit of time on thoughts like these, and many had come to the conclusion that it was time to ‘walk the talk’ and lead by values.  The main themes that emerged were the following:

  • Co-author a Higher Purpose Exemplary organizations engage all stakeholders in co-authoring a meaningful higher purpose – discovering their reason for being and their contribution to the world. They are connected to their purpose and values, and they make choices grounded on the broader idea of the common good.

 

  • Lead with Values (not just numbers)  Value-driven leadership implies a higher level of awareness and a walk-the-talk mindset. Leading with values (not just numbers) means leading from the heart as well as from the head.

 

  • Act as Exemplary Global Citizen  Exemplary organizations are citizens of the world and acknowledge their role in promoting human wellbeing and protect the planet. They are committed not to harm biodiversity and to use natural resources wisely.

The Covid crisis has given us more time for reflection — for thinking about the purpose and impact of the work we do.  These findings demonstrate that many people see an opportunity to move away from leading by numbers and output to leading by values and contributing to the betterment of society.

In my next blog, I will discuss the fourth theme of HEROIC organizations – being Open.

If you would like to learn more about HEROIC organizations and our study, please click on this link to download a copy of the report: The HEROIC REPORT

 

 

A blog series by Anne Clark

Becoming an Empathetic organization – HEROIC blog series

Becoming an Empathetic Organization

EMPATHETIC, CARING ORGANIZATIONS are emotionally and socially mature. People-centric, they create a healthy safe space (both mentally and physically) in which people can fully participate. They welcome emotions and demonstrate empathy, compassion and solidarity.

The Covid crisis in the spring forced many of us to scramble to reinvent the way we do business.  In June, together with Sekaten, we talked to 160 business people from around the world to better understand what they had learned from the crisis, how confident they were that they could continue to learn and adapt and what insights they had gathered about the changes needed in the way we do business.
Six systemic themes emerged from this dialogue, which we organized under the acronym ‘HEROIC’ or ‘Human, Empathetic, Role Model, Open, Innovation and Courage’.  Today, I am going to discuss the second – Empathetic.

In my previous blog, I discussed how the challenges of doing business in the Covid era have forced many of us to recognize our own and others’ humanity and vulnerability.  In a sense, this has had a ripple-down effect on how we interact with each other and greatly increased the empathy we show to one another.  And this is a good thing.

To quote Carl Rogers –“a high degree of empathy…is possibly the most potent and certainly one of the most potent factors in bringing about change and learning.” * The 160 people we talked to seemed to agree with this way of thinking.  Many want to see the heightened sense of listening and trust – the empathy we have been showing to each other – to continue going forward.  The main themes that emerged were the following:

  • Create a Safe Space Transparent and trust-based ecosystems — caring organizations know what physical and psychological safety means.

 

  • Create Dialogues and Listen Caring organizations listen to input from the whole organization and allow freedom of expression. They encourage creative dialogues that generate ideas, which can become collective creative actions. Caring organizations serve a community of people and ask them what they need.

 

  • Demonstrate Compassion Caring means showing patience, compassion and empathy to each other. Treating people with kindness and generosity, caring organizations promote wellness and solidarity among all the stakeholders.

 

  • Develop Emotional and Social Maturity Caring organizations feel totally at ease with emotions. They create a socially mature environment with a high degree of emotional intelligence where thinking, feeling and acting merge freely in daily business life.

The Covid crisis has forced us to rely on each other in new ways and find new ways of working in teams. These findings demonstrate that the kindness, empathy and understanding we have shown to each other in this remarkable period is something that people want to hang onto going forward.

In my next blog, I will discuss the third theme of HEROIC organizations – being a Role Model.

If you would like to learn more about HEROIC organizations and our study, please click on this link to download a copy of the report: The HEROIC REPORT

 

* Rogers, C. (1975). Empathic: An unappreciated way of being. The Counseling psychologist, 5(2), 2-10.

A blog series by Anne Clark

Becoming a Human organization – HEROIC blog series

Becoming a Human Organization

Humanized Organizations accept human vulnerability. They accept the need to slow down sometimes,
releasing pressure and reconnecting to what is essential to individuals, organizations and society.
Humble and authentic, they are aware of their potential limitations and address them.

The Covid crisis in the spring forced many of us to scramble to reinvent the way we do business.  In June, together with Sekaten, we talked to 160 business people from around the world to better understand what they had learned from the crisis, how confident they were that they could continue to learn and adapt and what insights they had gathered about the changes needed in the way we do business.
Six systemic themes emerged from this dialogue, which we organized under the acronym ‘HEROIC’ or ‘Human, Empathetic, Role Model, Open, Innovation and Courage’.  Today, I am going to discuss the first – Human.

How often have you been confronted with signs of your own vulnerability since the Covid crisis blew our way?  We are constantly confronted with new technologies and new ways of doing things. And we are forced more regularly to admit our own limitations. The ubiquitous Zoom call has forced us into each other’s lives in a novel and not always comfortable way.  We see the inside of our colleagues’ homes, and they see ours.  We hear (and often see) partners, children and pets.  We learn things about each other that in the pre-Covid business environment would have been unthinkable.

But, is this really a bad thing?  The 160 people we talked to did not seem to think so.  In fact, many see this enforced unveiling of everyone’s humanity as an opportunity moving forward.  The main themes that emerged were the following:

  • Accept the need to pause Accepting the need to slow down saves time in the end as it helps us to focus on the priorities and projects that matter. Feeling at ease with silence and connected to the present moment enriches human connection.

 

  • Be Humble Being self-aware, experimenting more without fear of not being perfect, and being able to forgive make us human. It is ok to fail and try again.

 

  • Accept Vulnerability Accepting and revealing vulnerability — being more aware of one’s own limitations and the limitations of the system — is a key step towards humanizing organizations.

 

  • Be Authentic In humanized organizations, people feel they can be themselves — revealing who they are, accepting their true nature, being more authentic and demonstrating honesty.

 

  • Value People Creating a people-centered world, valuing people as connected human beings, not just human resources, respecting people and caring for their needs are at the heart of the heroic organization.

Clearly, in spite of all the difficulties it has brought, the Covid crisis has provided us with a mirror in which to see ourselves and learn while moving forward.  HEROIC organizations allow us to be ourselves, to be human, to make mistakes.

In my next blog, I will discuss the second theme of HEROIC organizations – Empathy.

If you would like to learn more about HEROIC organizations and our study, please click on this link to download a copy of the report: The HEROIC REPORT

 

A blog series by Anne Clark

Join us on 5th of November for an eDialogue: “Navigating through COVID into a sustainable future, what can we learn from each other?”

Navigating through COVID into a sustainable future, what can we learn from each other?

Organizations all over the world join in the discussion to share best and worst practices.

Join us on the 5th of November 2020, 5 pm CET

Register for the eDialogue




Further communications by Synthetron

Now, 4 months after our first eDialogue titled “How to Recover, Heal, And Navigate in the New World?” that lead to a report detailing how to move towards HEROIC organizations, how has the COVID-19 crisis impacted the values and culture of organisations? What is needed to recover and thrive? Was the call for more HEROIC organisations and leadership a momentum of the past or a trend? What did we learn 4 months down the road of the pandemic?

Together with Sekaten, we will be conducting an eDialogue on the 5th of November 2020 at 5 pm CET.

The purpose is for organizations all over the world to join in the discussion and share best and worst practices. So that together we can learn to navigate through COVID into a sustainable future. 

Join and contribute to our collective consciousness.
Participation is free, easy and anonymous. Just register above!
More than 2500 people already joined, and it is not yet finished!

 

What is an eDialogue?

It is a working meeting around virtual tables with live facilitation to promote interaction and the propagation of ideas and opinions. You will join an engaging written interaction guided by a moderator. You’ll be actively contributing your ideas while evaluating and elaborating on those of others to collectively find the best insights.

If you would like to know more, please watch this short video: eDialogue

Join us on 23rd of June for a dialogue on “Covid-19: A Day in My Life”

JOIN US ON THE 23rd OF JUNE AT 7:30 PM GMT+8

Click here to register

A unique conversation in these uncertain times. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an extraordinary disruption across all sectors of society; overturning many existing ways of being, doing and thinking.

The Sustainability Institute invites you to the conversation on “COVID-19: A Day in My Life” to understand the reality of voices on the ground by getting in touch with what young people are thinking, feeling and experiencing in these times.

If you are tired of the zoom life, this might be refreshing! The e-dialogue will be conducted using Synthetron as the anonymous crowdsourcing platform built for real-time interaction. The Sustainability Institute intends to facilitate conversations with two groups of youths a) Students and b) Working Adults, to better understand sentiments on the ground, and shape our collective response in these trying times.

Join them on 23 June at 7.30pm (Singapore time, GMT+8) for this 60-minute online moderated conversation on Synthetron- Covid-19: A day in my life.

REGISTER FOR THE e-DIALOGUE (it’s Free!)

 

What is an eDialogue?

It is a working meeting around virtual tables with live facilitation to promote interaction and the propagation of ideas and opinions. You will join an engaging written interaction guided by a moderator. You’ll be actively contributing your ideas while evaluating and elaborating on those of others to collectively find the best insights.

If you would like to know more, please watch this short video: eDialogue

HOW TO RECOVER, HEAL, AND NAVIGATE IN THE NEW WORLD?

 

 

JOIN US ON THE 4TH OF JUNE AT 5:30 PM CEST

Click here to join

 

A unique “in the moment” research project to co-create a blueprint document to help leaders, teams, and organisations recover and thrive post-COVID-19.

 

A unique collaboration between 3 teams, Barrett Values Centre, Sekaten and Synthetron, that are willing to help and are passionate about creating a value-driven world where all people, organizations and societies thrive:

 

More than 2500 people already joined, and it is not yet finished!

 

The COVID-19 crisis has provided us with a unique opportunity to pause and ask ourselves: how has COVID-19 impacted the values and culture of organisations? What is needed to recover and thrive?

1st step: A Cultural Values Assessment to decipher the values shifts

In May, Barrett Values Centre launched a survey to explore these important questions and to better understand the impact that COVID-19 has had on organisational culture and what will be needed going forward. We are thrilled to share the experience of more than 2,500 participants from around the world!

The key learning is that transformations that normally would have taken years seemed to happen in just 6 weeks.

The big outcome is that during the Covid-19 crisis the organizational experience shifted from performance to people focus, from control to adaptability and from hierarchy to working together. In addition, the severity of the pandemic has helped liberating energy towards continuous learning, more agility, adaptability and caring about people!

Want to know more? The full reports and the webinar video are available online! Click here!

2nd step: An eDialogue, an engaging, live written interaction to co-create the future

We will be exploring the results of the Cultural Assessment more in depth. Key themes include:

Caring to Heal

Continuous Learning to Recover

Levering Agility to Thrive

The Big Let Go

The Future of Leadership

What is an eDialogue?

It is a working meeting around virtual tables with live facilitation to promote interaction and the propagation of ideas and opinions. You will join an engaging written interaction guided by a moderator. You’ll be actively contributing your ideas while evaluating and elaborating on those of others to collectively find the best insights.

If you would like to know more, please watch this short video: eDialogue

Efficient & Engaging e-dialogues to replace your physical workshops and brainstorms.

A tool to facilitate interactive dialogues and support your virtual trainings, workshops and conferences.

Big organizations can’t be managed without intense interaction. But sometimes, due to circumstances related to health care issues, cost cuttings or simply to run your environmental agenda, going virtual is the better option. But, what tool can you use to facilitate interactive dialogues with big groups of people? DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC

Of course, this is a virtual social interaction, not physical. But, does that mean your collaboration efforts are lessened? Not necessarily. Your teams can collaborate even more effectively, given you have the right tools at hand.

Let’s think beyond your standard videoconferencing tool. The relevant answer today for groups of 10 and more are well moderated interactive dialogues, offering everyone the chance to make his/her voice heard. a tool that ensures an Active and engaging experience of idea confrontation. Everyone can “speak” and “be listened to”.

What we offer: An efficient and engaging e-dialogue platform,  that can easily be used alongside a videoconferencing tool for business solutions for up to 1000 participants.

Letting participants write, evaluate and create a list of best ideas, in real time!

What is so special? 

  • It works from any location: Participants only need a device like PC/Laptop/Tablet and a stable internet connection.
  • Allows participation and organized interactions with up to 1000 participants in real-time.
  • It identifies the best feedback, ranked by participants.
  • You can get supported by a team of seasoned experts running online-dialogues based on several set-ups and applications in up to 15 languages worldwide.

Applications:  

“I have been looking for a long time for a collaborative solution which would enable me to collect ideas and feedback from a group of managers based around the world in a short timeframe – such an hour. My individual experience is that usual conference call tools do not meet these conditions. I have just experienced Synthetron and I find that it is very efficient tool to satisfy these needs!”
– Herve Coureil, top manager
Schneider Electric S.A., Paris

CONTACT US for a direct follow up.

 

 

JOIN OUR NEXT THINK TANK ON FEBRUARY 27th: Engaging in the Circular Economy within organisations

Listen to employees with Synthetron online dialogues
Join the free 50 min global Think Tank on Thursday February 27th 2020 

Add to Calendar

How to adapt as an organisation to the concept of “Circular Economy”?
Purpose, stories, values and strategies help to define the focus of everything that we do. Many of us understand already that long term sustainability as a strategic goal is based on reflecting and taking action on the impact of the footprint we leave on our environment – business-wise and as individuals. This footprint can be financial, moral or ecological.

Nowadays, it’s high time to pay attention to our organisation’s ecological footprint – mostly calculated in short – and long-term financial effects.

In this Think Tank we will explore:

  • How do we cope with ecological issues in our organisations?
  • What about the associated moral issues for organisations?
  • What lessons can we learn from each other?

What you can expect?

  • A 50 minute free anonymous written active participation online.
  • Accessible from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
  • Enriching discussions with an international crowd of business leaders.
  • Exclusive first access to the full report.

Interested in participating in other Think Tanks? register here to receive invitations to future Think Tank sessions.