What happens to work?

It is hard to pick out many consistent themes from the intense disruption we have all experienced in 2020.

Coronavirus has massively accelerated a number of trends that were already underway – such as the shift to online shopping and what was a gentle move towards home working became the norm for most of us over night.

Coronavirus has also had reciprocal impacts on different sectors – cinema down – streaming up, aviation down – camping up, commercial property down – rural property up and so on.

Coronavirus has not been the only disruptor of 2020 either  – climate change is more and more visible and sustainability is now far more firmly on the agenda for many businesses.   Fairness and equality have also shot up the agenda with Black Lives Matter.

Many organisations reported a boost in productivity in the early days of the lockdown, but this came at an unsustainable personal cost to employees who found themselves seriously overloaded coping with their day job, plus the extra demands of adjusting to operating in a different way, plus the psychological challenge of the pandemic and for many juggling home schooling and child care as well.

For office based organisations the big questions are around how to respond to all of this disruption in a way that ultimately enhances sustainability from an individual, commercial and environmental perspective.

Firstly it seems unlikely that everyone will go back to the office every day, ever.

Both offices and remote working have advantages and disadvantages and smart working practices can help organisations benefit from both.

Offices are great for building relationships, workshopping, serendipitous conversations and creating a sense of belonging to something significant – all of these things are harder when we work remotely.

Home working is great for flexibility, avoiding commuting, reduced distraction (for some),  easier to have calls (for some) and levelling the playing field between head office and other locations.

To make the most of investments in offices space organisations need to rethink how offices are used.  Offices are not necessary to write emails or have calls.  Not everyone needs a desk every day.  So we have the opportunity to redesign them as far more social and collaborative spaces to maximise the advantages while expecting people to attend less frequently.  Offices could drastically reduce the number of permanent work spaces and replace them with more flexible work spaces, cafe spaces, collaboration spaces (not just meeting rooms) and even overnight accommodation space.

Less creative meetings, correspondence and other more administrative functions could all be done from home or in co-working spaces closer to people’s homes.

Another big impact will be the reduction in international travel.  Lockdowns and quarantines have proven that most activities can be effectively handled remotely using video calls and digital collaboration tools.   International travel is expensive and imposing travel restrictions has always been a popular cost saving method.  Layer the covid risks of air travel and the sustainability implications on top of the financial ones and it is easy to see business travel being drastically reduced.

All of these changes and impacts have big implications for leadership and management.

In this far more dynamic working model both leadership and management need to be far more intentional and planful.  Processes and working practices need to be obvious, articulated, trained, reminded and present for all team members as well as a well structured cadence of physical and virtual meetings and workshops.

Management, the practice of keeping things reliable, needs to be balanced with leadership,  the practice of creating change, such that teams are able to deliver on the day job at the same time as transforming themselves.

In this more fluid environment leadership and management of a team becomes a full time job.  It will be far harder for those with leadership and management responsibility to also do operational tasks.

Given our propensity for promoting people to leadership and management roles for their operational capabilities this can be challenging.  Those wishing to lead or manage will have to be willing to let go of and delegate virtually all of their operational activities in order to be effective in the new normal.

The role will be one of ensuring that everyone in the team is operating at their best as much of the time as possible and that all of those individuals are collaborating as effectively as they can.

Another skill that will be essential in the new era will be virtual working skills.  Those who struggle to work remotely or who can’t make their point on a Zoom call will find progress harder than those who can.  Virtual working is the new working and being good at it will be essential.

Covid19 is not a short term hit.  The current level of disruption and restriction is likely to last until an effective vaccine reaches about 60 to 70% of the world population.  Even if at the fastest plausible rate of testing, development and deployment that will not be achieved before the end of 2021.

Natural herd immunity, caused by people catching the disease, is a dangerous distraction.  At the highest rates of infections seen so far, 300,000 per day, it would take 42 years to infect 60% of the worlds population and the evidence is that immunity lasts 3 months at best.

The impacts will reduce as we get better at managing the disease and its effect, but the pandemic will last long enough to make deep and lasting changes in the economy, politics and society.

The impacts will not be evenly distributed across the economy – aviation, fossil fuels, hospitality, public transport, commercial property, elderly care and live entertainment will all need to radically transform their business model, just to survive.

Conversely healthcare, anything online and renewable energy will all accelerate.  Students emerging from their Covid impacted education will want to choose their sector wisely.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

We have moved all of our work to virtual delivery so that we can continue supporting our clients within the restrictions we must observe for the benefit of all.  We would love to hear from anyone who would like to collaborate with us in this purpose.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.
Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

We would love your feedback on our new website at –  www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil
Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos
+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

Posted in Business, Leadership, society | Leave a comment

Coronavirus winners and losers

In any crisis there are winners as well as losers.

Clearly the ones who are suffering most directly are those catching the virus, those dying from it and those losing loved ones to it.  Each and every case is a personal tragedy.

Also directly affected are those losing freedom to move around, be with loved ones and those losing their lively hoods from it.

Equally there are those who are dedicating a big chunk of their lives to making things better for the rest of us.  The health workers on the front line, the scientists working flat out for vaccines and tests.  The politicians, journalists and business leaders working to keep us informed and balance a whole suite of difficult decisions, trying to help us keep safe.

To all of those on the front, second and third line of this challenge we give our endless apprecation.

If we lift our gaze a little we can see other longer term winners and losers too.

One of the most significant potential winners is the climate and the ecosystem.  With fewer flights and journeys, with fewer tourists and travellers carbon and nitrogen emissions are plummeting, air and water quality are improving.  With restaurants closed demand for fish  has dropped.  It will be fascinating to see how wildlife benefits from this moment.

The flip side of all of these winners is the loss to airlines and the travel industry more broadly.  Once businesses adapt to virtual meetings and remote working it is hard to see business travel ever returning to its previous levels of growth.

With so many people working from home we may find that flexible working practices suit us and that the daily commute to spend your day on calls and responding to emails, that you could do from anywhere, is not so important.  Accelerating this shift will reduce stress on cities and public transport and improve air quality.

Although all attention is understandably focussed on the virus, we can be hopeful that there will be lasting benefits to the climate, that could give us more time to find solutions and help us understand the impact of reduced emissions. If global temperature levels don’t break new records in 2020 0r 2021, as they have done every year recently, it will give hope and proof that we can make a difference.  The drastic actions taken by governments will also prove that they can lead effectively, in the face of a crisis, especially when it is done is a collaborative international environment.

Restaurants and the high street more broadly will lose out badly to online alternatives.  Conversely food delivery and online shopping will make gains that they are unlikely to give up.  The nature of our high streets is likely to change irrevocably.

Social isolation will be a huge challenge, especially for teens many of whom will have to endure a big blank in their social development and the elderly, who even if they don’t get sick may suffer other consequences from being alone.

Online services that provide entertainment and communication to housebound kids, adults and elderly will all boom – online gaming, streaming and video calling will all expand and become increasingly vital.  Although the production of movies and TV shows are being paused or halted by the need for social distancing – which is already leading to an expansion of less formal content on Tiktok YouTube and other platforms.

Manufacturers of anything that is not medically essential seem likely to take a huge hit as factories are forced to close under lock down conditions.  Much of the oil industry will take a hit too.  Saudi and the Russian producers appear to see this as an opportunity to drive competitors out of business by increasing production at a time of reducing demand, an acton which has already driven the price to 17 year lows.

The finance sector is in turmoil trying to cope with unprecedented levels of unpredictability – there will be winners and losers as some bets pay off and others fail.  Shares and funds heavily weighted to travel and oil may never recover to pre Corona levels.  Banks will be asked to carry debt and businesses and individuals struggle to keep up, but governments will not let them fail.

As for the disease itself it seems likely that the virus will continue to circulate until there is a widely distributed vaccine.  Herd immunity will offer some protection eventually but the cost in deaths of allowing that to be the solution is far, far too high.  There will be other creative solutions as well such as social distancing apps that help us know who is safe to be with and who is not.

The greatest hope of all is for unity. Paradoxically it appears that globalisation was one of the drivers of a wave of renewed nationalism around the world over the last few years.  Perhaps a common “enemy” can persuade us that we have more in common and that unity better than division.

Just maybe Coronavirus will be a first crack in the religion of money.  Government actions show us that, when required, money is not in short supply.  Government prioritisation is driven by care not cash.  When a government cares about something it gets funding.  Money, unlike viruses or climates, is a human invention where we get to make up the rules, not biology or physics.  If we want to change the rules around money – we can.  Money is a choice not a fact.

Please do all that you can to stay healthy and safe.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

We have moved all of our work to virtual delivery so that we can continue supporting our clients within the restrictions we must observe for the benefit of all.  We would love to hear from anyone who would like to collaborate with us in this purpose.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.
Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

We would love your feedback on our new website at –  www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil
Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos
+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A vulnerable time for humanity

In just a few months Coronavirus has made the whole of humanity feel acutely vulnerable.  Most of the time, when we feel vulnerable, we recoil.  Vulnerability is not an emotion most of us enjoy.

With tens of thousands of people at risk, this is a crisis.

Appropriately the word crisis derives from the Greek for decision.

Any crisis gets precisely as deep as it needs to get for us to learn the lessons it has to teach us.  This is true for us individually and it is also true for us as a species.

What are the lessons that Coronavirus has for us?

Is it possible that one of the lessons is to remind us that we are stronger when we are interdependent, when we collaborate, when we are inclusive, when we don’t blame, when we don’t “other”, when we treat all humans as brothers and sisters and all life as friends?

Is it possible that one of the lessons is that life is not all about competing with each other for money and status.  That scarcity is a just a mindset for many of us.  That there are more important things in life than the pursuit of an artificially scarce human invention?

Is it possible that one of the lessons is to pay attention to others and our surroundings to listen with open and loving ears and to see without prejudice or bias.  To avoid being seduced by the bliss of permanent distraction and psychological self medication and be OK with what is real, no matter how inconvenient?

Is it possible that our purpose here on earth is to be kind to each other, to support each other to learn and be the very best version of ourselves that we can be in every moment, no matter how challenging or stressful and to support and enable that journey in others?

The decision here is whether we choose to learn all of these lessons, not just intellectually in our heads, but somatically in our bodies, so that they become life long habits.

Learning these lessons and doing these things won’t make any crisis go away immediately, but it will shorten the duration, lessen the depth and reduce the likelihood of further crises.

The challenge for each of us is that changing our mindset, changing our behaviour, changing our habits requires leadership of us.    Leadership requires us to do something we may not have done before, something where we don’t know the outcome and something that might expose us to comment or ridicule.  Leadership, even self leadership often makes us feel vulnerable.

But this time, instead of recoiling, we must lean in.  Lean in to interdependence.  Lean in to a mindset of abundance, lean in to truth and honesty and work out how to be good with them even when it is difficult.

At Holos we seek to practice these lessons as much as we possibly can.  With each other, with our colleagues and with our clients.  Our vision is universal authentic leadership as a way to help the world move to a more caring and sustainable way of being.

We have moved all of our work to virtual delivery so that we can continue supporting our clients within the restrictions we must observe for the benefit of all.  We would love to hear from anyone who would like to collaborate with us in this purpose.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.
Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

We would love your feedback on our new website at –  www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil
Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos
+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Fire, Flood, pestilence and plagues of Locusts

2020 has opened with an almost biblical foreshadowing of the apocalypse.   Over the last century as the global population has grown from 1.9 Billion to 7.8 Billion today, in spite of two world wars, we have consistently plundered the future.  After all of this abuse the planet is finally fighting back.

Unprecedented wildfires in the Arctic, Amazon, California and Australia have destroyed ecosystems and spewed millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

Floods in Indonesia, Australia and the UK caused by extreme deluges of rain – 400mm overnight in Jakarta and the wettest February on record in the UK.

The Coronavirus, Covid 19 showing all of the signs of being the worst pandemic since the Spanish Flu of 1919.

And the plague of locusts that is rampaging across Africa destroying crops and likely to cause famine.

All of these apocalyptic scenarios are playing out simultaneously, all are the result of an expansive human population addicted to stealing from the future, all are the result of inadequate leadership.

The existential question is can our ravaged planet sustain the predicted 9.7 billion people in 2050, on a shrinking land mass, or will it self regulate to a lower number?

As in every crisis we face the choice to transcend or succumb.  The default choice on our present trajectory is to succumb.

To be clear, what succumbing means is a population reduction that is significant enough for the ecosystem to recover.

In order to avoid that scenario we have to transcend our current kleptocratic operating model and create one that is capable of sustaining 8 or 10 billion people.

The deciding factor in this choice is leadership.

As long as we continue to elect, select, promote, appoint and follow the kind of leaders who steal from the future – “Boss” and “Ruler” style leaders in Holos terminology – leaders whose primary motivation is status the choice we are making is to succumb.  These leaders will prioritise loyalty over competence in their teams and will create false trade offs and competition with those we need to collaborate with.  These policies will lead to an apocalyptic loss of life.

The alternative is to elect, select, promote, appoint, follow and train authentic leaders.  Leaders who create sustained and sustainable success by enabling people to be the best version of themselves most of the time.  Leaders who are primarily motivated by purpose.  Choosing, being and following Authentic leaders in schools, government, business, faith groups, hospitals, military and everywhere is the only thing that will enable us to transcend this crisis and be worthy of being sustained.

Holos is committed to a vision of Universal Authentic Leadership.

Join us in this quest by sharing your stories of authentic leadership you have experienced under #greatleadershipproject, by pursuing your own journey of authentic leadership and by never, ever electing, selecting, promoting or following Boss or Ruler style leaders.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.
Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

We would love your feedback on our new website at –  www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil
Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos
+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Christmas2019

Use this link to download our handy Christmas party aide for 2019.

It will transform the most challenging office party into an inspiring and uplifting experience.

Holos Christmas Card 2019

Just print and take it with you, the moment a conversation gets heavy – whip it out and ask away.

Wishing you fabulous festivities.

Neil and Mark

At Holos our vision is Universal Authentic Leadership, because it is only through authentic leadership that we can create an environment, that is sustainable for humans and all other species that form our ecosystem.

Join us at #holocon2020  to explore with us how we can help leaders and organisations with Beyond Post Conventional.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.
Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

We would love your feedback on our new website at –  www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil
Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos
+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What lies beyond Post Conventional?

At Holos we have already defined Post Conventional businesses as those that intentionally disrupt their own business model, before someone else does it to them.  This is a trend that has been developing and accelerating over the last 20 years to the extent that in 2011 only one of the largest five companies in the world was Post Conventional and by 2016 all five were.  Our view is that Conventional businesses will not survive at scale in a Post Conventional world.
 
The topic of Holocon2020 is Post Conventional and Beyond – but what lies beyond Post Conventional?  What is the new opportunity for businesses to face?
 
To see beyond Post Conventional we have to look at the wider trends going on in society.  We have already discussed Digitisation, Decarbonisation and Ageing at length through our writings and speaking on Megatrends.  What we have not discussed so much are society’s awakenings around mental health, diversity, waste, pollution, habitat loss and species extinction. 
 
In September both the Financial Times and the US Business Roundtable called for a reset of capitalism, to a form of capitalism that sees social and environmental responsibility as a critical component of commercial success.
 
We can now add a fourth Megatrend, which is sustainability and here we are using the word in a broad sense to refer to sustainability of ecosystems, of species, of individuals in their work and of organisations.
 
Sustainability is a fact, not a choice.  
 
Any organism or community that behaves unsustainably for long enough will reach a point beyond which it is not sustained.  To be clear “not being sustained” means ending, termination, death.
 
As W Edwards Deming said “Survival isn’t mandatory.”
 
As far as humanity is concerned; the further we push the environmental bubble in one direction the further and more violently it will swing back in the other. 
 
Sustainability is circular, not linear.
 
Plants and animals do not always behave sustainably, but ecosystems do.  Nothing is wasted, everything is re-used.  Our human systems have become effectively linear, resources are extracted, exploited briefly and discarded.  Oil, minerals, plants, animals, people.
 
Beyond Post Conventional is a world where businesses operate like ecosystems, where waste is a thing of the past, where reuse and recycling are fundamental and where systems and processes are generative, rather than depleting, where people, animals and plants are enriched by their interactions with business and society.
 
Ecology and economy in harmony.
 
There are businesses that are already well on the way to circularity.
 
Apple take reuse and recycling seriously – buying devices back from customers, refurbishing and reselling or dismantling and recycling into new devices.  Distributed in packaging made from responsibly managed forests and made using renewable energy.  As you can see from this report on the iPhone XR they still have a long way to go, but they are taking circularity seriously.
 
Patagonia take both worker welfare and environmental impact seriously – holding suppliers to high standards of worker welfare, creating long lasting garments, which avoid pollution and take responsibility for every aspect of their environmental impact including construction techniques, energy use, storm-water runoff, landscaping, water use and employee transportation.  See more here
 
It is perfectly possible for us to live sustainably on this planet, even with a very large population, our ecosystem is mindbogglingly productive.  To achieve this all we have to do is to stop stealing from the future.    Stealing from the future is the default mode for those operating as Boss style leaders, primarily motivated by status, they pursue results that they believe give them status regardless of the cost to people or planet.
 
As a society we face a choice – do we want to continue to push the bubble and let nature take its course and rebalance the ecosystem by eliminating large numbers of people or do we want to reinvent business and society as sustainable, circular systems beyond Post Conventional and make a large population sustainable?
 
The climate, environmental and mental health crises that we face are all connected, they are not separate.  And all of them are caused by the crisis we have in leadership.   We continue to operate, far too frequently with a style of leadership that is better suited to aggressive expansion and exploiting new territories.  Except that until we colonise Mars, there are no new territories.  
 
We need to transform our concept of leaders and leadership to enable sustainability of people, planet and profit.  The style of leaders we need to train, elect, select, recruit and promote are authentic style leaders.  Authentic Style leaders make huge efforts to be the best version of themselves as much of the time as possible and to continuously learn and develop to make that best better.  They enable sustained and sustainable success in organisation by creating a culture and a climate around them where others can be the best version of themselves as much of the time as possible.
 
Authentic Style leadership is the antithesis of Boss Style, Authentic Style leadership is primarily motivated by purpose and does not stealing from the future, which means they avoid exploiting people, animals plants or planet in ways that are unsustainable.  
 
For businesses and governments this means sustainable profits, avoiding boom and bust cycles.  For employees this minimises unhealthy stress.  For our ecosystem it minimises pollution and CO2 emissions.  Businesses that are not explicitly sustainable and lack authentic leaders will increasingly struggle to attract and retain talent and will be shunned by investors, customers and increasingly for insurance.  
 
At Holos our vision is Universal Authentic Leadership, because it is only through authentic leadership that we can create an environment, that is sustainable for humans and all other species that form our ecosystem.
 
Join us at #holocon2020  to explore with us how we can help leaders and organisations with Beyond Post Conventional.
 
Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.
At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.
Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.
Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.
We would love your feedback on our new website at –  www.holoschange.com,
Best
neil
Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos
+447803 774239
 
Posted in authenticity, Business, Leadership, society | Leave a comment

When and how companies should change their business model

Some companies have a very flexible approach to their business model – while others have a very fixed approach.  Some have adapted over time others have failed because they failed to.

So, how can companies ensure sustained success by changing their business model?

Firstly, let’s be clear on what we mean by “business model”?

A company’s business model is the way it goes about making money.  A bank might make money by selling banking and other financial services, a car manufacturer might make money by selling cars and ancillary services and so on.  Changing a business model means selling a significantly different product or in a significantly different way.

Most conventional companies have a single core business model, some will add some ancillary business models and a few will extend the brand into related areas.

As an example – Dunlop started by making tyres and then because of their experience with rubber expanded into sports kit made from rubber (shoes and balls) and then further expanded into other sports equipment because of their relationship with sports.

Michelin, another tyre company, extended into maps and restaurant reviews as a way of encouraging people to use their tyres more.

Other companies are more monogamous staying wed to a single business model.  Most pharma companies develop, make and sell medicines – they don’t seek to extend beyond that.

Other conventional companies have completely reinvented their business model several times.  Nintendo started out in 1880 as a playing card manufacturer before trying their hand at taxis, hotels, TV and food before eventually moving into toys and eventually video games and then devices and consoles.

What distinguishes Post Conventional businesses is their willingness to disrupt their own business model.

It was Apple Computer invented the desktop computer and then disrupted in with the laptop, then the smartphone and tablet and next wearables, along the way they also changed the name to just Apple to reflect the need to change.  Netflix started by sending DVDs by post, then disrupted that by moving to streaming movies and then making content to stream.  And DONG energy (Danish, Oil and Natural Gas) is now disrupting the oil and gas sector as Orsted, a leading player in offshore wind energy.

So if it is possible for companies to change business models, why do some companies prefer to go out of business than to question theirs?

For example 8 US Coal companies have filed for bankruptcy in 2019.  They clearly knew that their business model was in trouble, because they spent millions trying to defend it, lobbying governments and on PR activities.   Why not spend the same money on revenue replacement activities?

On the whole the answer comes down to leadership.

When a business starts it requires leadership to overcome all of the challenges and solve all of the problems.  If that business is then successful over decades the skill of leadership in the organisation is replaced by the skill of management.  The role of management is, fundamentally, about creating reliability. When a business, and by extension its business model, is successful, why would you change it?   What you want is to get as good as you can at doing your business model.

Leadership – which is fundamentally about change, is disruptive, and therefore,  under these circumstances, undesirable.  After a few years of success leadership, as a skill, is eradicated from the business and the successful business continues with lots of management skill pursuing reliability.  When something comes along to disrupt the business model, such as renewables for the coal industry, they lack the skill to reinvent their business model, so instead they go out of business (after spending millions trying to put their disruptor out of business).

At Holos we like to think about five key elements that can help businesses disrupt their own business model before someone else does it to them:

Leadership – The obvious baseline is that businesses need to enable the skill of leadership as well as the skill of management.  Leadership and management are skills, not people.  It is important to have a good depth of both skills in the organisation with individuals agile in switching between them according to circumstances.  We can also add the skill of followership, where we are willing to support others who are showing signs of leadership.

Bandwidth – It is all very well having skilled leadership and management, but it is worthless if they have no bandwidth.  If senior people are too busy they lack the time to think creatively or strategically or to pay attention to the bigger picture.  For senior people we use the mantra – everything that can be delegated must be.  The time freed up must be used to learn, experiment, explore and pay attention to Context.

Context – Is about keeping ourselves up to date on what is going on in the world and particularly in our sector.  How are technology, demographics, politics etc changing things?  This is not something that can be delegated.  I am often astonished when I do our Megatrends talk for companies at how little people know about what is going on around them, even in their own sector.  If we don’t pay attention to context, how would we know if our business model was under threat?

Cause – What is the cause we are here to serve?  What is our vision, our purpose and our mission?  Conventional businesses can often get away without articulating a vision.  Their purpose is just to get good at what they do, their mission is just to have the resources and capability to achieve their purpose.  For Post Conventional businesses it is essential to have a vision that describes specifically the destination they seek to arrive at.  Without a clear vision it is very difficult to take decisions.  If we have a well articulated cause it makes it much easier to identify our options in looking for new business models.

Conditions – How do we need to behave, what habits do leaders need to adopt or change in order to create and curate the kind of culture that will be required to achieve the vision? There is a very significant culture difference from conventional to post conventional businesses.  The former is focussed on reliability, procedure and obedience.  The latter requires people to be able to add adaptability, accountability and challenge and trust and alignment are even more important..

We are currently in a period of disruption not seen since the Industrial Revolution.  Digitisation, decarbonisation and ageing are changing the technologies we use, the energy we use and the demographics of both workforce and customer base.  Everything is changing and it is clear that conventional businesses will not survive at scale in a post conventional world.

If your business has largely the same business model as it had 10 years ago.  If disruptive thinking and ideas are discouraged.  If the business has no clear vision it is probably already under threat of disruption.

If you want to know more about becoming post conventional or helping your clients on their journey to post conventional you might like to join us at #holocon2020 and to read our book Stealing from the future.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

We would love your feedback on our new website at –  www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

 

Posted in Business, Leadership, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Conventional companies will not survive at scale in a post conventional world

Last week I met with people from a very successful 70 year old company that operates in 190 countries and has 32 million customers.  It is a market leader and consistently ranks as one of the best places to work.  They are very good at what they do and yet the existence of the company is at risk in the next 5 years.

Like most other organisations founded more than 20 years ago they are a “conventional” organisation.  As a conventional organisation their business model has remained effectively the same since they started.  They prioritise reliability over adaptability and consequently, management over leadership.  The summit of their ambition is to be able to do what they say they are going to do reliably.

However the “post-conventional’ storm clouds are growing around their sector.  One or more of the big “post-conventional” tech companies (Apple, Google and Amazon in this case) are starting to get involved in their sector and at the same time a number of highly agile post conventional start ups are nibbling away at the high margin end of their business.

Post conventional organisations are the ones that disrupt their own business model – as well as others, they prioritise adaptability and reliability, leadership and management.  The path to sustained success for conventional businesses facing this challenge is the path not taken by previous conventional market leaders – Kodak, Nokia, Blockbuster etc.

The first step on this path is for the executive team to admit that there is a risk.  This can be a very challenging admission.  Things still look good after all, and if senior people are five years from retirement, they may have little understanding of the risk and even less appetite for both the personal and cultural transformation that it implies.  Failure to accept the risk in time will lead the organisation to irrelevance.

Once the executive team accept the risk the next step is to articulate a vision for the future that is a clear destination and is inspiring to all stakeholders – rather than one which is relative to competitors.  Our client Q8 has a vision that: “every customer journey is sustainable”   Everyone in the company finds this inspiring and customers and partners are increasingly getting behind it.

The transformation required to pursue the vision is very specifically a matter of leadership and culture.  So the next question for the executive team is how do we need to be and how do we need to lead in order to achieve the vision.  Above all, what habits do we need to change in the way we work, the way we interact, the way we communicate and so on.

In our experience it takes an executive team about 6 to 9 months, with close coaching support, to reliably adapt to a new set of habits, skills and behaviours.  There is no need to announce these changes to the organisation, just for the executive team to role model them reliably.  At the same time as this process is happening it is also important to bring the HR team onto the journey, both as role models for the new culture and also so that they can get to work redesigning hiring, reward and other systems and processes to support the new culture.

Once the executive team and the HR team are reliably role modelling the new culture and the new HR systems are in place it is time for the executive team to enrol the next level in the organisation in the new culture and support them in changing their habits and behaviours and developing new skills.  Depending on the size of the organisation this process can be repeated over the next six months to enrol the next level in the organisation.

Close coaching support for leaders and for teams is invaluable in helping those leaders and teams develop the new skills and change the habits to enable them to live the new culture and successfully pursue the vision.

This culture change approach can enable a conventional organisation that has never had to question its business model to become a fully adaptable post conventional organisation able to reinvent itself to deliver sustained success in a disrupted environment.  The change is very specifically a change of leadership style and culture, although it will also lead to changes of business model, processes and in other areas as well.

If you are interested in this area as a coach or consultant or as a change agent within a company you may well be interested in #holocon2020 Post conventional and beyond.  At #holocon2020 will be discussing and exploring how organisations can adapt to the post conventional world and how coaches and consultants can support them.  Please book your tickets here.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

 

Posted in Business, Leadership, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Understanding Brexit

On the whole I avoid directly discussing politics in my blog, however, as the EU offer another extension to the agony of Brexit I am going to attempt to look at it from an evolutionary psychology perspective.  For more details on the colour coding see this explanation of Spiral Dynamics.

It is no great stretch to see Brexit as tribal.   There are three main tribes involved.

The Red tribe are the smaller.  They believe in “Strongman” leaders, who represent a sort of uber father figure to them, and to whom they are fiercely loyal.  They want their leader to take responsibility for all of the big questions so that they don’t have to and to simply things for them.  They like messages from the leader to be unambiguous and to clarify things as good and bad.  Although rules are very important they also believe that the ends justify the means.

The Red tribe like Brexit because they have been told to by their leader and because the EU is complicated.

The Blue tribe are more than twice the size of the Red tribe.  They like to see the country in competition with other countries.  They strongly believe that their country is better than other countries and don’t want to get to close to them.   They don’t trust other countries and they want a leader who is strong on their behalf and does not compromise or show vulnerability or weakness.  They see negotiations through a win/lose lens.  Because of their belief in exceptionalism, rules do not apply equally to them in relation to other countries.

The Blue tribe like Brexit because they never liked the idea of having to collaborate with others.

The Blue and Red tribes make up nearly 57% of the population.

The Orange and Green tribe are about the same size as the Blue tribe.  They like to collaborate with other countries and are excited to get close to them and learn about differences.  They don’t have a big need for a leader at all, but want their representatives to be collaborative and compromising.  The Orange and Green  tribe is collaborative and inclusive to a fault and will condemn their own tribe members if they show signs of excluding others.

The Orange and Green tribe regard international cooperation as a self evident good, so obvious they don’t really know how to explain the benefits of it.  They hate Brexit.

The Orange and Green tribe are baffled by the Blue and the Red tribes.  They have forgotten that they used to be in them.  They often regard their views as stupid or primitive.

The Blue tribe do not understand that the Orange and Green tribe exists, all they can see of it is people being weak and failing in their patriotic duty.  They see the Red tribe as useful idiots who are also dangerous.

The Red tribe do not understand that either of the other tribes exist and only see varying levels of weakness.

There is also a catch – the Blue tribe and the Orange and Green tribe (and the tiny Yellow and Turquoise tribes) are vulnerable to being triggered  to behaving like the Blue or Red tribe under stress – particularly the kind of stress caused by something like Brexit.

The reason that Brexit is so intractable is that for all three tribes it operates on a values level.

For Red is satisfies their need for simplicity.

For Blue it delivers their need for independence.

For Orange and Green it removes interdependence which they need.

Values are deep within our psyche and once established will rarely change in a lifetime.  The experience of transgressing one of our values is traumatic, we feel ashamed and embarrassed about ourselves.   Having someone else transgress one of our values is horrifying, insulting and demeaning.

The Brexit referendum opened this Pandora’s box which assured that whatever happened a large part of the population would end up traumatised by a massive values transgression.

What is the answer?

At some point there will have to be process of reconciliation and forgiveness led by those from the Yellow and Turquoise tribes who are tiny in number and therefore not a democratic force.  However whether this can or will happen before the UK breaks apart from the EU and then in all probability the UK breaks apart itself seems improbable.

These tribal tensions have existed for at least 50 years in the UK (and other countries).  What unleashed them in 2016, in the UK and the US was, to some extent, a combination of the Megatrends of Ageing and Digitisation.

The ageing of the Baby Boomer generation means that for the first time ever the median age of the UK is over 40, with the largest 5 year bands of the population being between 45 and 50 and 50 and 55.  People generally become more conservative as they age and the pace of social transformation caused by digitisation means that more and more people are left struggling to understand their world.

The Red and Blue tribes are the most likely to be disadvantaged by both digitisation and demographics and the least likely to understand them.  Red more than Blue.

The Orange and Green tribes (and Yellow and Turquoise) are the most likely to be able to benefit from and enjoy the changes created by digitisation and demographics.

The growing Green part of the Orange and Green tribe is the most concerned and active about the climate crisis, for them Brexit is antithetical to the need to collaborate on a global scale to solve this crisis.  The Blue and Red tribes would prefer to deny or ignore the climate crisis since it requires collective initiative and action to resolve.

As with any crisis, the crisis will get precisely as deep as it needs to get for us to learn the lessons.  And, as with any crisis the choice is to transcend or succumb.  Survival is not mandatory.

We will be discussing what to do about these and many other issues related to the Post Conventional world at Holocon2020.  If you like discussing and solving the big issues of our future, it would be great to see you there.  The early booking discount runs out on 1 November.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

Posted in Leadership, society, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#HoloCon2020

Early Bird Booking Reminder

#HoloCon2020 is filling up – we want to remind you of the Early Bird discount of 20%.  Like Brexit, everything gets more expensive after October 31!

Holocon 2020 is for coaches, facilitators and change agents within companies wanting to explore and learn how we can shape the future to enable sustained success.

To tempt you, here is a summary of the speakers and agenda:

22 Jan 2020
Day 1 – What is Post-conventional?  A structured  day of networking and speaking sessions discussing the post-conventional business context and meaning.
Speaker – Adrian Webb – Business Transformation
Speaker – Joanne Lockwood – Radical Inclusion
Speakers – Neil crofts and Mark Thompson – a facilitated session on the emotional response to post-conventional business conditions and shared insight on coping strategies

23 Jan 2020
Day 2 – open Space peer-supported learning.  20 opportunities for Faculty to showcase their work, models or tools, share learning, have fun, laugh, learn and grow.
Jane Mitchell, Lindsay Uittenbogaard, Hanne Klintoe, and Jesse Kraij have already put their hands up for this… who else is out there with something to share?

Conference days run from 0900-1700, with refreshments and lunch provided.

Here is the link for more information on speakers and booking:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/holos-faculty-conference-post-conventional-and-beyond-22-to-23-january-2020-tickets-64778265536?ref=estw

We are very excited about the event and what it can do for Faculty, friends, clients and business leaders.  Come yourself and bring friends – all are welcome.

If you have any questions get in touch with us direct at info@holoschange.com.

Holos helps make change easy. We help organisations develop their leaders, map out and deliver the changes required to achieve sustained success even in a highly disrupted environment.

At Holos we have been studying change leadership and leadership training in the crucible of reality for years. We know what great leadership looks like and we know the journey to achieve it. We have developed a suite of diagnostic tools to understand where companies and teams are on this journey and how to take them from there to sustained success.

Holos has a wealth of specialist leadership and culture coaches and consultants with decades of experience working with a huge variety of leaders. Holos can help you or your organisation to upgrade it’s leadership to flourish even in a challenging business environment.

Please share your ideas, comment and discuss here – click on the blog title and scroll to the bottom to find the comment box.

You can subscribe for free at http://www.holoschange.com,

Best

neil

Neil Crofts
Co-Founder
Holos

+447803 774239
neil@holoschange.com
http://www.holoschange.com

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment