Reframed thinking forms the underpinning of Built to Thrive and an understanding of the concepts presented to you will culminate in an ability to begin to reframe your thinking. The rise in social networks, mobilization of crowds and tribes and the impact of social based innovation all affect our views of ourselves and the landscape around us. I will go on to show that reframed thinking is the ability to avoid becoming trapped in the spider webs of past practices, to view your situation from a fresh perspective, to begin to gather information from larger and previously inaccessible collective resources and utilize this knowledge to drive growth effectively. To reframe will become the catalyst for the implementation of actions that are appropriate to a landscape that is shifting constantly. The journey through the book is in itself an act of reframing.
Monthly Archives: May 2011
At the very onset of the book, I am met with my biggest challenge – teaching a concept that demands an untutored state of mind. My attempt to bring various non-business disciplines into the business world has been a stimulating journey.
Innovation has become a generic and everyday term, in fact it is difficult to find a more generic term as you drive past the shining billboards of industry leaders. Easy to spell, easy to use, the word has become ubiquitous for the leading company with a competitive edge and a keen eye on the future. Theoretically this is unproblematic, yet one glance at a landscape filled with cut-throat, power hungry and asset driven competitive players is enough to illustrate the fall of a powerful word.
Maybe you feel I am overreacting, but take an objective view of the battlefield around you. New products, technologies and services are born all the time, yet in their wake we see the dust cloud of a hundred battles for domination of the market. Don’t get me wrong, I am not in the business of pure condemnation, in fact just the opposite, but what we will come to see as prime followers are dominating a world with so much more potential, always one step behind the tiny population of prime movers. There are many entities that have broken into new spheres of operations, and whose successes are testament to the wonders of thriving innovation, but there could be many more. What Built to Thrive hopes to achieve is to open your mind, introduce you to new ways in which you think and perceive the world, and to explain the phenomena behind the successes of some and the failures of others. My grand and hopefully not too disillusioned ideal is to restore some dignity to a word that can change the world.
The uncontaminated generation is not the generation who rebels against all forms of cultural transmission. They are not a horde of uncultured barbarians lacking any sense of moral conviction. In fact they are quite the opposite, they are the individuals who take nothing for granted, who are in complete control of the way in which they construct the world around them.
It is evident that change continuously and relentlessly disrupts our structured lives built on optimistic illusions of stability. So if we know this, denial of the obvious cannot be the only factor that holds us back from reconfiguring the way in which we live. There are many reasons why people are resistant to change and they differ from situation to situation and setting to setting as we will discover throughout the book, but there is one all-encompassing and pervasive reason why a symbiotic relationship between us and the phenomenon of change does not exist – a lack of knowledge as to what change really is.
Throughout the book you will be introduced to social, networked and interconnected behavior as being critical to a clear understanding of the landscape in which we all exist. This new landscape is showing signs of the ever-nearing third megawave. What has proved to be the real hindrance in understanding change holistically and therefore the appreciation of our placement in the world, is the presentation of change theories that are situation specific. The three megawaves are not set out to displace old theories but to present an opportunity by which to understand the bigger shifts that have transcended all spheres of activity and encompass all of human experience. I try to show this as a superwave to indicate that radical shifts across our understanding of the world are imminent.
What this story has also shown is the increasingly complex nature of developing in an increasingly interconnected world. As we will come to realize, innovating in the modern world is no longer a straightforward affair, it requires knowledge of technologies, lifestyles, habits, individual desire, and most importantly an understanding of the tension between a growing consolidation of technologies and their imminent divergent nature, a concept we will revisit later on. This is partly what has been responsible for the rise of super powers as they develop and conquer, and also what has provided the platforms for some of the most disruptive changes in modern history. But we’ll get to this.