We All Need To Work Differently – Part 1

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I have been reading a lot about a radically different future and the process of creativity. A distinguished thought leader, Sir Ken Robinson http://sirkenrobinson.com, makes an important distinction between asking, how intelligent are you? and, how are you intelligent? Meaning, to what extent are you applying your innate abilities to work more effectively – more imaginatively –  in an era of constant, fast change?


As a coach, the notion of being intentional about the future appeals and Sir Ken’s questions are meaningful beyond the blogosphere.  I meet many leaders who understand the future is ambiguous with unforeseen challenges and much uncertainty. Risk abounds. The transformations under way are mind-boggling. Technology continues to be a huge game changer of course, but other dynamics are impacting all of us: the different expectations of GEN X and Y, as well as those living in developing countries; universal concerns about individual and macro economic health; climate change; distrust in political regimes; the shrinking availability of natural resources; advances in medical (including brain) research. There can be no clinging to routine, the habitual, or the traditional ways of doing things.


In his book, Finding Your Element, Sir Ken suggests we all take the effort to dig deep down in ourselves to identify what we are good at and love doing. The reality for most of the working population is that their work has largely been shaped by an educational path, the expectations of others and old systems, and a chunk of serendipity. The future requires us all to think and be different at work. This is not to suggest we abandon our values, our knowledge and experiences. Rather, that we find within ourselves that part, that ability, that passion, that can help to make a difference in the world – around us and beyond.


Organizations have a role to play in this self-examination and discovery: they, too, need to reflect on what they are doing with regard to leading and managing talent. Bottom line: To what extent is your organization tapping abilities to support innovation and encourage employees to create the future, not merely react or adap

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