How do you handled 'the unsettled' transitions?
Saturday 12 July 2014
At almost every stage in a shift in the way societies and organisations operate, there comes a period of extreme 'unsettled-ness'. This period may show itself in the form of the doldrums (where things seem unusually calm but nothing seems to be happening) or in busyness (where there's lots of activity but nothing seems to be happening). In many cases there will be a call for a re-think of direction, of purpose and of activity. So when should you maintain the course, and when should you take a step back?
The answer to both states of being lies in the starting approach you utilised before commiting to your current source of action. For organisations and for societies, if there has been sufficient and deeply considered thinking about what the future might hold (possibilities) and what you want to achieve (preferabilities) then often the answer is to 'stay the course'.
For leaders, there is often a need to inform the masses. Let them know what is happening, that the doldrums or the wheels spinning is not unexpected, but that a threshold is approaching beyond which, the 'new normal' will emerge and embed itself.
But what if you did not undertake the well considered assessment of the preferred future and the likely issues you will face? If you're in the doldrums, the action is clear - undertake a challenging assessment of what is possible, what is plausible and what is preferrable and use that assessment to guide you actions. However if you have not undertaken that assessment and yet have a very busy organisation or society where lots of action is present but you are 'getting no where' then danger is all around you. Understand this - if you are busy but do NOT know where you are going, about the only thing you can guarantee is happening (in your society or organisation) is that valuable resources are being wasted on a directionless business.
And that can only lead to disaster. As Map makers used to mark on uncharted areas: 'there be dragons!' If you are leading a society or an organisation that lacks direction it is iuncumbent upon you to discover a direction of value and importance. Without one you'll wither and die.
As an example, right now it seems to me that the transition from coal to renewables is underway. But the wobbles and worries are all around us. Simply put (and to paraphrase someone else's thoughts) 'the old ways are dying but the new ways aren't fully here yet'. Which sees many calls for 'go back to what we've always done' offset by 'the future is this way!' About the only thing that is clear to me is this:The old ways won't get us to where we want to go.
But that doesn't mean the new ways are an easy straightline path. Far from it. In the energy sector, both in charted and uncharted maps, 'there be dragons'
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Monday 27 February 2017
It's been a significantly busy couple of months looking at how Industries and Government Agencies are preparing for change. The Companies versus Climate Change conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November/December, and a meeting with the Political Science Department at the University of Hawaii (Manoa) in January show that positive action is happening, despite some of the headlines
Saturday 31 December 2016
Many of you know that each year I make an observation about what I think the year will bring. The track record suggests I'm usually a couple of years ahead of the curve. With that said I'm calling 2017
Monday 12 December 2016
In Ft. Lauderdale USA I recently attending a delightful provocatively named 'Companies Versus Climate Change' conference. And the message is clear - companies, BIG well known companies are tackling the issues of climate change, sustainability and their carbon footprints and both making and saving VAST sums of dollars. The simple take away message from the presentations over the three days could not have been more explicit - tackling climate change pays off big time!