Charles Darwin told us: It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. In today’s business environment the one most responsive to change is the one who creates the change.
Since 2000 50%+ of F500 companies have disappeared, these include; Kodak, Nokia, Lehman Brothers & Merrill Lynch. By 2025 a further 40% of F500 companies will go.
Becoming the disruptor demands change, yet numerous studies place the failure rate of change initiatives at around 60-75%. Studies by IBM, Harvard Business review and Tower Watson tell us that only 25% of change management initiatives are successful over the long term. Most change programs fail.
Today’s environment demands transformation not change.
Change is about behavioural influences in the old system while transformation involves realising that the system has changed (and will continue to do so). It entails raising your cultural and psychological intelligences and acting from higher levels of thinking to create new (often, as yet, unseen) ways forward
Philosopher Ken Wilbur after years of studying every kind of change – educational, political, religious, organisational & social – tells us that there are four quadrants to change. These entail:
Q1: Individual mindsets (psychological influences)
Q2: Individual actions (behavioural influences)
Q3 Shared values and vision (cultural influences)
Q4 Shared actions and structures (systems influences)
Successful change requires simultaneous change in all these 4 quadrants in the same direction. This is highly strategic and needs to be driven by those capable of thinking at the highest level – i.e. those with the highest emotional, intellectual and spiritual awareness i.e. disruptive leaders.
Transformation requires higher levels of thinking
Prof Quy Huy (strategic management INSEAD) tells us that strategy is 5% thinking and 95% execution. Strategy execution is 5% technical and 95% people related. You might think that this is about Q2 and Q4 ie. how we act and relate to others and our environment.
However, neurobiologist, Bruce Lipton tells us that in any one second we process 40 bits of information consciously and 40 million bits unconsciously – this makes our unconscious thinking the key driver of how we think, act and relate. So it is Q 1 & Q3 that will have the biggest impact on our strategic success. When we can access and leverage the 40million bits of consciousness we are moving into a whole new realm.
There are, for those willing to step outside the box other (exponentially effective) ways forward.
This involves a personal growth process for leaders (so that they can effectively & strategically) lead change, and then a process of cultural creation that inspires the rest of the organisation to want to step into high levels of thinking, personal, professional and organisational functionality.
The methods of this kind of change are revolutionary and non-obvious from old thought patterns. They do however prepare you and your organisation to be the fittest in a time of radical change.