It’s time for tech companies, education and all to step up their game to integrate conscious right brain systems thinking

By: Bill Van Eron Wednesday March 6, 2019 0 comments Tags: Bill Van Eron

By Bill Van Eron

Conscious Business by Design Strategist

Headwaters Marketing and Innovation


I have huge respect for Peter Senge.

Charles Prather, DuPont Center for Creativity and Innovation founder, evaluated my IQ (Innovation Quotient) score in 1989. He suggested I study systems thinking and advance it. Peter’s work seemed furthest along, with respect to Deming and Ackoff. I tried to call Charles last year to thank him for the best advice I ever received, to then learn he had just passed away.

Such a loss.

The advancements I made increased the emphasis on internal/external ecosystem values as the key holders and requirements all have to meet to achieve success. It also is the most important body of work, as we may be the first to shape a truly human support system to model people-powered success as the biggest value to enable, earn, recognize and reward people.

Peter’s quotes offer truths more relevant today (Followed by my thoughts as to today’s relevance):

“The problems of today are caused by the solutions of yesterday.”

Leaders & most people hold on to values and approaches modeled by a time of much less change, hierarchical org models and long time functional and job position descriptions. Many leaders admire early adopters, yet their actions mirror extreme risk aversion. Success today requires everything being aligned to current market & employee values and requirements that earn trust & relevance.   

“In the machine age, the company itself became the machine, for making money.”

The high ratio of repetitive work and time-based performance justify growing concern that thousands of job categories will be replaced by AI. The future of work and human effectiveness (robots don’t shop) is akin to a living, thriving organization and market as one live interdependent ecosystem.

“Leadership exists when people are no longer victims of circumstances, but participant in creating new circumstances.”

I see reports & talk to Millennials and younger with great respect for their value & potential as change agents. As one who was earned regard in HP as a customer champion, change agent, integrated thinker & invested in others, I coach a path I travelled as empowering more today to integrate their values into orgs rather than expecting that to be in place.

“We need to be the authors of our own life.”

Too often, we accept the status quo when outside of a culture that encourages better approaches. Shape that culture and we all win, orgs prosper and we all grow.

“Knowledge is constructed, not transferred.”

“Constructed” speaks to real time and whole system insights and the ability to connect meaningful insights to actions. Leaders value intuition, yet that intuition has to tie to current factors versus historic ones. I see many new companies trying to usher in digital transformation – as do we – but all we have seen either provide same training to all and as stand alone knowledge transfers versus what we do to integrate personal, emotional engagement with learning, stimulation, relevance, inclusion and accountability as one natural support ecosystem all soon contribute to.

“The further human society drifts away from nature, the less we understand interdependence.”

This quote captures our mission and associated value as Headwaters uses nature as a learning metaphor since 2004. We advance the age of interdependency as vital to personal, career, organizational, market and community success. So far mankind is the only species to defy nature rather than learn from its infinite lessons. Fair to predict between now and 2022 enormous downturns. This will be to organizations failing to enable and be enlightened by internal and objective external sources… and fail to meet market values and criteria towards being an organization they regard.

Having worked in leading technology companies and some medical, financial and education orgs, the following is apparent as limiting their success:

  1. Left brain orgs tend to dominate internal culture and miss out on the vitality right brain people add to create engagement, trust, value, credibility and inclusion where the seeds of ideas and criteria can be sewn. Silos in general compete with each other, but any one dominates the others as engineering may often do, inadvertently become closed internally focused cultures.
  2. Very few have people in their BOD or leadership team that bring a more accurate view of the ecosystem that defines success so it can be achieved with the right requirements in mind. A small amount have assigned Chief Ecosystem Officers (CEO) – an acronym title that will either be modified or CEO’s will aspire to master. Having done and mastered that job, I can easily say it’s like having that magic mirror to reflect what really matters and how to achieve success.
  3. Technology needs better guidance and accountability that too few have stepped up to do.

The long-stated promise of technology is enabling people & greater efficiency. Gaps are revealed as we evaluate where technology actually enables greater human effectiveness. New reports are emerging to the contrary showing how high tech erodes our ability to reason, problem solve, focus, synthesize, collaborate and shape trust in relationships & brand. Given the rapid rate of new tech development and current predictions that the next three years will be even more tech-centric, at a time when being people-centric is arguably more important to success, this guidance is overdue.

Education has long been a requirement that was based on high relevance between what was learned and what industry required & rewarded.

Given how poorly business is doing to embrace the values & needs of employees and markets; the speed of tech disruption; and how long it takes education to adapt to change, the need is crucial for a new mindset and better partnerships so students and business each gain advantages lost today. Systems thinking reveals insights to how.

Conscious business, holistic thinking, design think and systems thinking have been around a long time.

Too few have mastered their benefits or advanced them. Having applied the best of them all, our purpose is to help others master what we have, as there is clear evidence of the huge value, timing and interdependent relevance. Left & Right Brainers unite and the possibilities are limitless.

Bill Van Eron

About the Author: Bill Van Eron

Bill Van Eron, founder, Headwaters Marketing & Innovation, offers strategic marketing, brand & innovation insights, as key to your internal or agency team's ability to help sales & marketing to rise above the trappings that created steep decline. We offer the first enablement & accountability model for HR.

Bill joined other leading advisors to deliver an integrated view of where you are and can be. Bill has been praised by thought leaders as possessing rare extensive experience & success creating future-now work that leaders and leading business media are starting to realize today as vital. Get your game on with lower risk & bolder, proven success at