Tuesday November 26, 2019 0 comments
By Bill Van Eron
21st Century Stakeholder Significance Catalyst
Headwaters Marketing & Innovation
We all fall into patterns that limit us or enable us. We hit walls shaped by what is expected & that blur what really matters. We accept defeat, stew or blame others. I see a better way & a new bridge all can cross.
As we greet Thanksgiving, I wish that all may enjoy the spirit of it – giving, sharing, being & receiving our collective best. For this one day, what we should have as valued lives seems more supported. Whether by family, friends or welcomed strangers - than what we face all year that tears us down. Imagine this as a time for conscious self-reflection so attitudes that open or close us to what we share & what really matters, adapt to thrive around greater truths and accountable to enabling more of us.
Imagine that changing at a local, national & global scale, now as a major shared priority!
I’ll share my journey & welcome yours as the end game creates a future of shared values in action.
As my upbringing in a poor part of Brooklyn, NYC revealed values that served myself and others well throughout life, that values compass enabled me to greet all biz challenges with enlightened actions. That made a huge difference in shared positive outcomes for HP and others a decade ago, still ahead of what leaders see today or what all generations realize they can be empowered to apply today. I love creativity & various talents in others. It is now crucial to most orgs relevancy when design rises above its own status quo as I was lucky to discover and do. Yet it was when I advanced systems thinking on a human scale that revealed a future more of us can be proud of, part of with pride, confidence & contagious relevance.
Topically, respecting progress from theorists, I see what some will realize as the biggest & most beneficial transformation in our lifetimes. More will feel suddenly free to fly higher. The path I took, that you also may choose is not bogged in complexity, bureaucracy, fears or slow. So, while the top 200 CEO’s stated a major (overdue) shift from short-sighted focus on shareholders to now a focus on stakeholders, you also have great range of opportunities to make it real. I have travelled to countries defined as autocratic or democratic, but one thing was apparent – the people were great, despite oppression by tyrannical governments or work pressures. Today, finally, we can collectively choose to enter a time where more of us shape & realize purposes that matter. Why not enable and realize our collective best versus more of us suffering through life and work geared to reward only a few at the top who just expect success more of us are tasked to earn. Kind of a gobble, gobble, one way scenario, right?
How we define ourselves in ways that unify us is likely the biggest challenge ahead, yet doable. If we fail, so does business, democracy, our values and human decency that many gave their lives fighting for us to have. I recall when any threat was looked into versus ignored, such as our very crucial environmental health. Leaders who now embrace decency, integrity and honest attention to their stakeholder ecosystems, beyond the corporate norms will also fly higher and longer.
Too often more of us take sides without staying open to hear both or trusting what we hear. Technology device addiction is eroding our reasoning, problem, possibility thinking & relationship skills… all at a time when we need to step up our humanity and use that to shape how innovation focuses on what matters. In business we fall into status quo or closed cultures limiting us with false walls. In government, we see and celebrate true public servants that rise above partisan loyalties to do what’s right every day. I rarely wake up feeling like one party or the other, yet for many… politics defines us and in doing so, divides us.
I see so many parallels between business and politics as related to the deepest trust crisis of this century now. Too few talk about it yet we all live it daily. Turkeys can fly. They enjoy their environments. They are diverse and collectively beautiful despite short lifetimes. I personally love eagles as our national emblem while sensing a turkey may be a better national bird so we identify with the needs we share, and the capabilities of eagles as we rise above obstacles to truly fly.
What’s in us individually and collectively is far greater than what has stopped us the last few decades until now. When we are part of something bigger and more meaningful than routine, stressful events, we soon feel enabled to support and bring out our personal and collective best in doing so. That experience can fuel lives of values and purpose that inspires others to jump in. I call that contagious relevance as we all experience some things in life and work that we can’t wait to share with others.
I wish us all earned significance as a better collective effort, where leadership is enabled in all of us as a trusted, conscious, values-connected path we all can travel.