In today’s dynamic business environment, every organisation must continuously change to stay competitive. How do you maintain the advantage on your competitors? If you can’t make it as a market leader, make sure you at least stay on par with competitors. How? It starts by thinking tactically and strategically from an innovative angle. You are never alone in an ecosystem. Competitors, customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders, they are all influenced by the way you act and the other way around. The dynamics of the environment that surrounds your business should be defining how you set up your processes. This ecosystem requires you to clearly position yourself. As an innovative business you should outline who you want to be and define how leading you want your role to be in the market. Looking at the innovation culture you want to build, what place in the ecosystem will suit your business best?
So much has been said and written about leadership, leaders and their (expected) performance. In this blog I’m not specifically referring to executives, but to anyone in the workforce; managers, employees and self-employed professionals. What about them? Well, how do they manage their self-leadership? Nowadays we have to live up to fairly high standards. Are they that high? Let’s keep that open for discussion. I think we experience them high level, when in fact they are just different due to the continuous change and the fast moving technology. Agility is something a lot of people have a hard time dealing with, so they are tempted to take the easy road. People have the tendency to constantly demand and forget that performing is what they are hired for from the start. Since when are accountability and performance optional? Why do we accept neglectful behaviour from ourselves to begin with?
In my previous blog I shared my idea of the try-and-fail strategy and how I thought leadership and education are connected. The blurring lines between functional and theoretical technology as well as those between industries play a crucial role in the evolution of the educational system. Or at least, the evolution this system should go through. Up to now innovations in education seem to be held back by a legacy of traditional believes and standards. When I was discussing this subject with peers after publishing ‘This technology era needs leaders that fail’, I received some nice input that stirred up quit some thoughts about this subject. My conclusion: leaders in education and technology should join forces and develop a new approach, one that is applicable in both learning providers and organisations. But an educational system and business world forming a collaboration that can be the solid, sustainable base for ecosystems raises two questions. First, are the current schools geared to cultivate engaged students? Second, is attendance at school a prerequisite for successful education? No and no, I would say. But let’s start at the beginning of this line of reasoning.
Are you with me?
95 % of everything changes. Constantly. What is the most fundamental change of this decade? Probably the blurring lines between functional and theoretical technology. A lot of theories that seemed unattainable in the past, are now being developed into – sometimes astonishing – functional designs, smart solutions. The transition time between theory and real life applications is becoming shorter. Our ecosystems are more or less enforcing this evolution to take place and society seems to quickly adopt the new developments that this evolution brings along. But are we able to live up to that accelerating cycle? Will the human capital of our businesses be up to speed in time? No, at this point not yet. We need to drastically modernise our education system, that incorporates the societal and entrepreneurial consequences of this technology era. After all, if the future is about talent, the battlefield will be the schools and universities.
Two famous books I’ve read contain a lot of knowledge on some theories in relation to the economy, the society and the labour market. For a long time, those books have kept a lot of smart minds busy analysing and finding evidence to either defend or contradict the statements made by the writers Adam Smith and Karl Marx. Brilliant minds in their time. In my opinion those books should be mandatory in our education system for some basic understanding about the mentioned subjects. Nonetheless, I think we are heading towards a new era that will invalidate both theories – or at least for a greater part. Still, if you take some crucial core elements out of both theories and you put them together with today’s developments in technology and information management, we could end up with a new theory, a next level. Let’s call it ‘integrated consciousness’ for now. Are you wondering what I mean by that? Read on!