Why leadership needs to happen within all organizations -- discover and enable your Conscious Champions

By: Bill Van Eron Monday July 3, 2017 0 comments Tags: Bill Van Eron

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By Bill Van Eron 

System of Everything Mastery in the New Economy

Headwaters Marketing & Innovation

This is shaping up as a perfect storm as leadership, employee emotional connection, a greater external focus, innovation and revenue growth demand a wave of conscious champions to lead at all levels.

The odds grow exponentially higher that you are among the many millions of American Millennials, Xers or Boomers concerned to find work that is inspiring, rewarding, inclusive and that offers a meaningful future versus the 70% that Gallup reports as emotionally disconnected from work.

Become relevant as irrelevance kills any organization. Be a continuous learner and open minded versus fearful to challenge your assumptions. Leader’s credentials earned their position, suddenly are realizing they need a new mindset and skills to help any organization to go further or even survive.

They can’t do it alone, so champions need to step up within.

“Many companies who have failed to invest in creating an anticipatory mindset and decided to stick to their tried and trusted methods are increasingly struggling to keep up the pace. … it's the organizations that fail to see the value in driving both small every day, and large transformational innovation that often find their industry has been dramatically changed by a yet another startup that arrives on the scene.” ~ Daniel Burrus

It helps to get an objective read on your patterns, as approximately 95% of all organizations fail to see what experienced outside-in views see more clearly, thus enabling transformative actions.

The age of expecting that leadership from above or across historic “experts” appears to be over.

Embrace a new age of expecting and enabling yourself to lead as a champion to earn internal & external regard is now upon us.

As one whose entire creative marketing career earned recognition for championing the customer, credibility, effectiveness, relevance, creativity and leaving my own comfort zones to embrace whatever it took to connect work with a higher value, I am thrilled to help others adopt that role as today’s requirements demand a better game plan.

Today’s organizations already demand champions within and external to adapt and thrive amidst current challenges.

What does it mean to be a Conscious Champion?

  1. You are adding a real impact value that your traditional-minded organization might otherwise miss.
  2. That value source can vary across marketing, HR, innovation, credibility, inclusion, customer observation versus just research as a false proxy and much more. Customer champions, stakeholder champions, culture champions, and more can be grouped under your business ecosystem or you can champion your market ecosystem as just a few of many high-value champion investments.
  3. You get to shape your own career as an intrapreneur, of sorts.
  4. If you are productive, you may opt for an outcome-based compensation package. Something I wish I had done in HP before consistently accounting for billions in revenues…definitely business unusual.
  5. You feel inspired, refueled and your capability inspires and refuels entire teams.

Why is this so vital now?

  1. Most corporations still follow an outdated notion of an all-knowing CEO and executive staff. In truth, leadership happens within and across most functions. Expand that to BODs and Channels.
  2. 70% of employees report as emotionally detached from work, yet I know having been an acclaimed HP Customer, conscious and credibility champion that my work always was a catalyst to inspiring teams inclusively to be their best. This is vital for all company’s success.
  3. Inclusion and revenue growth are top-of-mind expectations for CEOs, yet most short-sight the system requirements that include soft skills and new skills only focused champions can possess.
  4. All markets now hold organizations responsible to meet a higher bar to warrant their confidence. Champions such as customer champions offer the best insights to meeting those qualifications.
  5. Winning organizations must be 80% externally focused. It is easier to enable and support champions with external investments leading their charge.

Which attributes are important to have or refine?

  1. The ability to shape a value-based vision and the agility to adapt and thrive through change, especially the ability to see and leap past your comfort zones.
  2. Embrace internal and external challenges to your ideas and core assumptions. This transforms your overall organization to accept accountability as a positive factor.
  3. Being able to develop an external value compass and build bridges back to your brand, product roadmap, services, innovation and customer experience management.
  4. Trust and attention to others as conscious champions challenge the status quo where too limiting while infusing emotional and functional passion to be one’s best on each journey.
  5. Be open-minded and value or catalyze an open culture to keep your organization relevant.
  6. Advance your insight, synthesis, possibility thinking, critical and system-thinking skills.
  7. Develop external resources that get it to push the edge on what is possible while delivering reliably.
  8. Champions are key to help your organization from falling into traps that shape a closed culture.
  9. Align your future to your own passions as conscious to what matters to customers and stakeholders.
  10. Be a continuous learner, as change happens daily though too few stay open to understanding it well enough to act on with confidence.

Where can you be a high impact player if or not designated as a management level player?

  1. The answer is anywhere in your organization whether you already hold a leadership position wanting to be modeled for the new economy, or you are a professional individual contributor in sales, marketing, R&D, HR, or elsewhere wanting to make a bigger difference.
  2. I have found great opportunities blending customer insight with sales and reseller insight after you open how you look at each beyond the traditional corporate limits.
  3. Shape work and expertise your organization is poor at yet that can make a big impact when done right.

How did I apply being a conscious champion in HP?

  1. My initial HP career as a graphics designer and brand strategist positioned me immediately as a customer champion with strong sales force regard as they continually stated, “this works the best.”
  2. I left my design comfort zone and creativity as defined by status quo that I saw I could improve and expand creativity to business. Using ecosystem insight as my compass, we created a more authentic business palette to improve the impact of HP sales and reseller marketing and market trust competence by over 100%. My sales team and resellers led the nation in value-based growth.
  3. High-level HP managers recruited me to manage increasingly challenged projects and programs. Without exception, I shaped strategies that exceeded all expectations 2X to 10X and won team support to make it all happen at the highest standard and passion as exemplary of a world class organization.
  4. As I write this, my past HP sales manager called me to say “never in HP’s history or near future has HP accomplished what we did. Nor had they learned to leverage it to do great today.” Now we change that.

Less reception to new thinking and status quo interpretations of value still limit organizational success as the state of corporate readiness for true transformation lags market readiness, but the path is no longer overwhelming or tenuous and those that embrace it risk leading their industry.

That’s a great motivation.

For more on this and other human-enabling answers to business, listen to our monthly blog on IHeart radio:

https://www.iheart.com/podcast/53-Beyond-Confidence-27597098/episode/becoming-conscious-champions-28268789/

Bill Van Eron

About the Author: Bill Van Eron

Bill Van Eron is the CEO of Headwaters Marketing & Innovation (970-221-0751). We have evolved well beyond traditional marketing, business and innovation by paying attention to the whole system - versus its siloed parts - the human condition and new influence systems. Business humanity is newly recognized as vital after decades of inattention to the unifying principles shaping healthy internal and market ecosystems. At a time when much attention and fear is given to robotic advancements, the simple truth is robots don’t shop. But new frontiers in work, purpose integration and life  can be technology enabled once more visionary people step up, as I hope to. Few businesses survive that do not adapt and thrive as aligned to the value tenets driving change. My passion – before I retire and empowered with better answers – is to proactively shape higher value business models and human interactions, to empower others to benefit by what I learned by instinct long ago as now crucial for others.