At the UnConference this week, our hosts Canay, Rudy and Yuri were joined as usual by the CLT Team: Primavera and Michael. We were all lucky to host four incredible panellists to discuss the Future of Organizations / Conscious Organizations:
- Rita McGrath: Author of multiple global bestsellers (latest book Seeing Around Corners), top 10 management thinker in the world for many years, ranked #1 for strategy by Thinkers50 and Professor at Columbia Business School in New York.
- John Hagel: Leader of the Center for the Edge at Deloitte, John occupies leadership roles at the World Economic Forum and the Santa Fe Institute, serves on the faculty of Singularity University and is the author of 7 books including The Power of Pull, Net Gain, Net Worth, Out of the Box and The Only Sustainable Edge
- Faiz Nazarali: Co-founder and CEO of High Vibe Network, one of the most fascinating blockchain startups in the world, designed to accelerate the consciousness of humanity.
- Jitske Kramer: Anthropologist and author of the award-winning books Corporate Tribe and Deep Democracy.
- Vandana Hart: A prolific figure in the dance world, UN ambassador, creator and host of the globally successful Netflix series We Speak Dance (coming soon as a global dance movement). Vandana also led an energizing interactive dance session.
Our packed lineup of great minds delved deep into redefining value, competition and fear to move forward in the new era of organization. And – very fitting on Mothers’ Day – we discussed the masculine and feminine elements in organizations that define the subtle dynamic balance between power and love.
Read on for a few snippets from this week’s two-hour discussion.
Insights from our panellists
Rita put forward the idea that we need to rethink our old-fashioned definition of competitive advantage. Faced by the massive layoffs and rapid new business models developing as a result of Coronavirus, Rita was optimistic about the way this will transform organizations:
“It’s very important to differentiate between what we predict and what we prefer. There’s a lot of optimism speaking ‘We’re going to have gender equality, and we’re going to have less income inequality’. These are the things I would like to see come out of this. I hope it will galvanise a new conversation around social equality and the resilience of people in society.”
“Corporations don’t exist just for shareholders and just for executives. Corporations exist as a means of production, to create shared prosperity and we have lost that somehow. We’ve lost that thread.”
– Rita McGrath
John explored the changing landscape of value and competition, the shift away from mounting pressure to expanding opportunity. John also spoke about the benefits of rethinking learning in our organizations:
“In an exponentially changing world, the most powerful form of learning is not sharing existing knowledge. It is developing new knowledge, confronting new situations that have never been encountered before. scalable learning occurs in the workplace, all the workers being given the latitude and encouragement to actually address unseen problems and opportunities to create more value and learn in the process.”
“The dominant emotion was fear. While it’s understandable in a world of mounting performance pressure that we would feel fear, it’s potentially dangerous and dysfunctional. But it starts with recognising and acknowledging the fear. We live in cultures and societies where fear is a sign of weakness. If you aren’t willing to acknowledge your fear, good luck. People aren’t going to trust you. Be vulnerable. Look at the emotions driving those around you. What are the ways you can help them overcome their fear?”
– John Hagel
Vandana led her interactive dance session, a burst of energy to reconnect us with our bodies. She then shared stories to illustrate the power of dance to unite us in a global community, calling back to the ideas of value from earlier in the conversation:
“We can cross all of our limiting beliefs and any walls in any discrimination as a refugee in a country that doesn’t want us or in a community that doesn’t value us. We can create that value instantaneously. What if dance was a part of our education? The sacredness of dance has a spiritual ability to connect us to each other, ourselves and the planet. To generate joy and to generate meaning as we travel to a time of infinite unknown.”
“We have all of these people operating our world with technology, heteronormative mindsets, Neo-colonial mindsets, male-centric views. This paternal way has been shaping our technologies, our movements, our political systems, our architecture. So until we start really looking not just at gender, but this divine feminine-masculine balance in everything that we’re building, this will constantly become more about separation, greed and power, than a world where we’re all truly benefiting from one another and lifting each other up. Dance is an ancient tool that we have not utilized.”
– Vandana Hart
Faiz went into detail on the role of blockchain in decentralized autonomous organizations, and why it will be one of the biggest technological revolutions we have ever seen. He also saw blockchain as representing our running theme of masculine and feminine:
“I believe blockchain is a feminine technology. It looks after the collective, it’s looking at how to nurture the planet by approaching different avenues of business. And it’s very much a collaborative technology. It’s difficult for anyone to build blockchains without collaborating, working with decentralised communities and teams, open-source frameworks, etc.”
“Over 90% of the world’s wealth is controlled by about 1%. And so if you look at money as energy, that would be an energy block. And I think blockchain is here to open up that energy block, to reduce the coagulation that’s happening in our financial systems, and redistribute a lot of that value. This is happening in real-time, right now.
– Faiz Nazarali
Jitske put forward the idea that the impact of the corona crisis depends on how we frame the narrative, whether we define this as a crisis or a transformative period of time. She also applied ancient tribal ideas to how organizations work:
“In this liminal stage, we need regular leadership because you still need to eat and sleep. So there is this drumbeat of what I call the chief making sure that if there’s conflict, we fix it and we get things done. At the same time, there is someone holding the space of ‘not knowing’. That would be the magician, the shaman. And in businesses, we have function groups, which are the consultants, coaches, people with a free role – they are the ones who can start conversations which are out of the ordinary. We need both and they need to work together. If there are people in your organisation having extraordinary conversations without connections to the chief to the sitting power, they’re the witches and we set them on fire. So it is very, very vulnerable.”
“A CEO is a chief. All of the C-level are chiefs and they have to take care of the tribe, for better or worse. You don’t cut people off. No, you take care of the tribe, no matter what. You create a safe space, with power and love.”
– Jitske Kramer
Throughout the UnConference, we always have amazing input from Tribe members around the world, giving their insights in the Chat or asking questions in the Q&A panel. Here is just a little of the feedback we received:
Julia: “THANK YOU!!! Being in this event, I feel the vibe of my current community is quite far from the one I feel like being. Thanks for showing that it exists :)”
Wendy: “Thanks for a fantastic line-up today. It’s completely cemented the angle of my new business idea… I now know I am on the right path.”
Papel: “Thank you everyone for bringing your authenticity to this profound dialogue.”
Vandana’s dance session also received some lovely comments and thanks from all around the world. Here are a few of our favourites:
Benjamin: “That was fantastic! My body feels much more energized, so thank you!”
Nour: “I’m shaking :)”
Manu: “I have never danced before this. This was liberating. I need to practice this.”
Do you want to get involved in the next UnConference? To ask questions, tell your own stories or simply watch amazing minds discuss the most important subjects of our time?
Visit theunconference.com to see the upcoming program, read more about our events and register for the next UnConference.
See you next Sunday!