What is the meaning of the global crisis? In this KEY we look into the future and from there back into the here and now. We ask you to step back and levitate a little, to gaze into the future. This is an important leadership capacity that has become even more essential.
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The KEY: It’s not coming back – It’s going forward
“When is it coming back?” is the wrong question. It’s not coming back – it’s going forward. The fulcrum of the change is invisible and hard to grasp. The nature of the shift underway is like the hypocenter of a tremor hidden deep in the ground, miles away from the epicenter, which is seen to be the tremor’s center on the surface.
There is a shift taking place in the semi-conscious of society, the market and the global system. To sense it, see it and decipher it, you need a certain detachment. It requires you to adopt a different perspective and look at it with back-from-the-future eyes, free from the acuity and anxiety of “How will it affect me”; “What will happen to my business”; “How will I survive”; “What will I do and how will I respond”. These are valid considerations and responses, but they prevent us from deciphering the tectonic shift – the hypocenter which impacts our experience on the surface.
Here are a few starters about the question: What is the meaning of this crisis and how to begin looking beyond it? The narrative is not based in reason. Reason has become insufficient, as is clearly evident by the fact that no one seems to be able to coherently explain what is going on, how exactly we got here, and where we are going to next.
- We are experiencing a tectonic shift. A once-in-60 to 80 years, or a once-in-a-century change. Jeff Immelt called it a reset. George Soros says we will never recover to the former levels. Mark Zandi says the stock market bottomed and an economic expansion will begin by the fall of 2010. The truth is no one knows. This is more than a cycle. More than a paradigm shift. It is an epochal reset.
- Change builds over a very long period of time. And then it happens in a blink of an eye. It’s like a spring that seems delayed and struggling to come in over a long period of time, and then abruptly it is released when it can no longer be contained.
- The chaos, the confusion, the inability to reason or explain, is all part of the change. Crisis happens when the existing frameworks can no longer support and contain the confluence of new dynamics now active within the system. The destructive forces released in this crisis are analogous to the release of the nuclear bomb. The 600 trillion dollar derivative-bomb was a financial nuclear explosion. What’s been released cannot be contained by the same set of tools. Even now, the shift is likely to be deeper and bigger than anyone cares to admit, but not all bad. There are tremendous opportunities within it too.
- We are not surprised by what happened. We are surprised by our surprise, by our inability to reason and respond more effectively. Many people in business, finance, government and management had premonitions that the run up was an unsustainable trajectory. We just thought we were comfortably seated in the movie theater and it was all happening on the screen. Most of us did not consider it was going to come off the screen and touch our popcorn bucket. We were surprised when it did.
- What we are seeing is a global, political, societal, economic, financial and spiritual reset and realignment. A big change. Even in recent weeks, network anchormen and their writers continued to ask “When will it be back?” They were confused, misled and were misreading what’s underway. It is not coming back. It is going forward. Not to resume the trajectory and framework that was there before. This is a major transformational shift. In all aspects of life and society.
- The implosion and disintegration of the financial system will give rise to a new global equilibrium and framework, the manifestation of which may take decades to play out. It’s not bad. It’s not good. It is simply different. There is pain involved, perhaps much pain. There is an immense potential and possibility in it too. End-of-days-doom forecasters underestimate the power of demographic demand and the economic energy of a new generation of entries into the global workforce. The V shape quick recovery prophets do not understand that the next phase will be based on genuine value generation and not financial acrobatics. To see what is moving and how it is shaping, you need to remain neutral,free of personal agenda, and prepared to accept unpredictable change as the new norm for an undetermined amount of time.
- At a deeper level, this change, this shift, is about giving birth to the next phase of human development, the evolution of society, economy and geo-politics. Great new innovations will be at the center of the next phase. Innovation and creativity unleashed by latent capabilities.
- Millions of people now work in jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago. Can you imagine 10-15 years from now? A growing percentage of the workforce will be engaged in jobs and professions that don’t exist today, jobs requiring new capabilities and skills. Successive waves of innovation will lead this change.
- This transition is about more than the stock market. It is even about more than finding new technologies to solve the energy challenge and climate change. The reset is about a societal realignment and a new set of conversations. In the next decades, novel ideas like meaning, purpose and significance will take on completely new directions.
- For example, to find a new paradigm for healthcare and its cost structure, we will have to go beyond the point of thinking that everything is fixable by external means, that for every problem there is a pill and every condition can be insured.
- Expect Innovations in new technology. New services. New business models. New user-generated collaboration. And much more, including wild cards (unpredictable and unexpected developments). Expect innovative learning, education and eco-tourism. Expect significant breakthroughs in personalized medicine. Expect major scientific breakthroughs. Expect the possibility of ubiquitous solar-powered living, Zero Point Energy discoveries and micro-nuclear utilization. Expect game-changing collaborations. Roles, responsibilities and relationships of societal sectors could be redefined. Expect other kinds of “Berlin Wall” moments. A breakthrough in the Middle East could be a major game-changer. Expect other walls to fall. Societal, geo-political and perceptual walls. Expect new government-corporate partnerships and game-changing co-creative federations. At the very least, collaborations will involve a number of companies and governments, say China + US + two Multinationals. Expect a range of “intelligence” wild cards:
- Artificial intelligence taking a growing part of the service sector.
- Truly intelligent user-friendly web.
- A scientifically accepted validation of intelligent life.
- A release of extraordinary brilliance and spiritual intelligence.
We are about to enter a new intelligent age. But be prepared, the law of polarity says there could also be truly dark spots inside it.
- The new realignment is not about faster. It is about more meaning and, if necessary, slowing down. It is not about having no time. It is about making time; not about meaningless stuff, but about meaningful and meaning-making growth. A shift from separation to integration of reason and intuition. And a new integration of the whole system. Geo-politics, culture, society, technology and the economy will express that.
- This is a shift in what we perceive life to be about. A change of priorities and perspective. A change of values and aims. In 2020, about a quarter of the workforce in the Western world will be working a four day work week. The important concept that will emerge in the new 2020 paradigm will be the Fifth Day. After working for four days for your company, and before or after your two-day weekend, you will have a new Fifth Day. The Fifth Day will be your future focus day. Primary focus will be your continual education, development and growth. The other focus will be service to charity and causes you choose. Your week will include: four work days; a fifth day of learning, development and service; a sixth day of home care and maintenance, and the seventh day of rest, recreation and renewal.
- It has been said that people in Europe work to live and people in the US live to work. The new paradigm that will emerge is – work to learn and live to learn, so you can learn to live more fully and work more effectively.
- The new framework will include an evolving inter-generational collaborative vision. We are about to re-discover the power of kindness, the meaning of help and a sense of community. We are about to discover the exponential power of generosity and the power of purpose and grace.
This tectonic shift is about letting go of a culture of blame to find a new compass of responsibility, creativity, collaboration and accountability. This is the context within which a successive wave of innovative breakthroughs will be unleashed.
Now it’s your turn. Turn the Key. It is a special privilege to be alive at this time. To be engaged, to participate, to make a difference, to play a part in a greater story. To lead and to help others lead.
© Aviv Shahar
The “Middle Line” Experts
CEOs and GMs ask me: can you help us increase revenue and improve the top line? Can you help cut cost and improve the bottom line?
My answer is, “yes! We can help you grow your top line! And we can improve your bottom line too!”
“How?” they ask. “It’s simple,” I say. We will help you improve your top line and your bottom line by focusing on your point of leverage, your middle line.
In a challenging environment, leaders create breakthroughs or crash. For company leaders, the next worst thing to facing a tough business environment is creating their own lethal downward spiral. Unfortunately, that is exactly what some leaders are doing right now, destroying their business rapidly. No one wants to fly into the ground, but good pilots make terrible mistakes. How do I know? I have seen it. In this environment, leaders who are not aware of the impact of incongruent communication increase the damage by creating stress, fear and disengagement in their teams. In the desire or need to increase productivity they produce hyper-active or frozen environments, both leading to catastrophic productivity loss.
The carpenter’s rule is – “Take care of the edges and the middle will take care of itself.”
The executive rule is opposite – “Take care of the core (the middle) and the bottom line will take care of itself.”
Your core is your middle line. The middle line hides your breakthrough potential to dramatically improve your top and bottom lines. In our rapid “mid-line workshop”, we ask: how are you in “the middle”? How are you in “the middle” with your people? How you are in “the middle” with your clients? How well are your people coping and managing in these challenging times? Do you bring out the best in people or are they more stressed and anxious around you? Do you help clients with their greatest source of pain? Do they know how to make the most of your products and services?
We are the experts of the mid-line. We help you focus on the great multipliers of your business – the key leverage points that generate results, grow your top line and improve your bottom line. Here are six mid-line factors that determine organizational and business results – great leaders and teams:
- Cultivate relationships of trust
- Develop creative solutions
- Produce rapid alignment
- Build leadership capabilities
- Create effective execution
- Generate energy and commitment
Call or write us to find out about a “mid-line inventory” and a rapid “mid-line workshop” for your team or entire organization. This innovative discovery workshop customized for your team will generate rapid results to help you improve your top and bottom line. We work with you to discover the best solution for your teams and business. The workshop can help you:
- Realign activities to capitalize on new opportunities.
- Free up and repurpose resources.
- Accelerate go-to-market strategy.
- Clarify decision rights, roles, responsibilities and objectives.
- Create rapid alignment and collaboration.
The “mid-line workshop” can be customized for large and small groups for half-day sessions or a series of shorter sessions. We’ll work with you to adapt the optimal format for your needs. And yes, we will improve your top and bottom line!
© Aviv Shahar
Be Your Own CEO
Don’t miss the first personal mastery teleconference – Be Your Own CEO. You are not only your own Chief Executive Officer, you are also your Chief Evolution Officer-in charge of creating your future growth and development.” Register today to learn the thirty CEO strategies.
We focus on these two vital aspects of your leadership: Evolution and Execution. You will learn 30 unique strategies: 15 strategies to become effective Executive Officer of your life and 15 strategies to becoming resilient Evolutionary Officer of your endeavors. These strategies will help you turn uncertainty to initiative, move from fear to freedom, and from concern to capable and confident action.
This is a great opportunity to take the driver seat of life, focus on what matters most, defy fears and anxiety and take command of your opportunities. These set of strategies have never been put together before. Don’t miss this class. Join here our teleconference – Be You Own CEO.
© Aviv Shahar