So Scotland has voted. All the hype, the rhetoric, propaganda, and social chatter boiled down to one thing. In the end the majority are still cautious and rather than embrace uncertainty and change (an opportunity some did in this case) stick with the status quo. The crowd certainly has the power these days to change opinion and spin a media charge, but arguably only up to a point. The loudest voices aren’t always the pioneers and there is a big question around data, but that’s another blog altogether!
Anyway, this is not a radical new thought. But it’s one I keep coming back to.
It’s the listeners, the doers, the seekers and the questioners that don’t sit with the status quo that make change happen. Yet in an ever changing media landscape it’s more and more impossible to allow for distraction and time out to reflect on new ideas and thinking.
Blinkered by habit and time pressures we glance around rather than look with acuity. Yet what we see and what we notice aren’t the same. CEO’s so often fail to step outside of their own echo chamber, so they fail to see the bigger picture or the legacy from the past. We shouldn’t write off what’s gone before, as taking experience forward is vital. But it must be done with an open mind. This means building cultures where mistakes are allowed.
For experience is based on repetition and rigidity.
In many cases when businesses hit a crisis point, either in communications or strategy, they call for an “expert”. After all there is no one more expert than an “expert!”. But an expert will see that your question gets answered as if it’s been answered many times before, and the resulting solution is actually more or less the same answer!
That is why a critical friend with an open mind is more vital than ever. There is no one answer these days or at least there is a wide picture to glean before the answer is arrived at. So someone who is not fooled by fashion, tamed by reason and trapped by experience is what a business should look for. Leaders are required to become masters of reaction which requires a wholly new mind-set and approach – one that embraces uncertainty, empathy and learning how to communicate in a way that can be engaged with. Everyone talks about disruption which is fine as long as you don’t paper an Emperor.
Successful campaigns and services are designed around compelling ideas, organisation and immaculate detail. A given of course.
But not easy to reach that point. Working with people who inspire new thinking allows us to go beyond where we are capable of getting to alone…