I’ve never been to TED. Sure I’ve been to a few TEDx’s but not many, and oddly never as a speaker. That’s my own fault though as I don’t do much if any self promotion. I’ve been to BIL though, the most excellent crowd sourced unconference alternative that many see as the spark that lit the TEDx fire.
It was at BIL earlier this year that I first spoke publicly about what I’m doing with Alynd and why I’m doing it. As you will hear if you can invest the 15 minutes listening to it, the Alynd solution, this vision and its execution is the amalgamation of a lifetime of incredible experiences, karmic opportunities and invaluable connections with gracious and wise old souls. What Alynd does is holistically solve some of the most fundamental problems facing the people who those in human resources are supposed to serve and empower. The talent. The most valuable resource of every company, large and small.
But it’s the first BIL talk that struck me yesterday as I flew off to Inbound Marketing Summit to reconnect with many of those friends and old souls. That talk was called “Transforming the Heart of Business“, something that has truly been a defining focus of my life and my career. I’ve always been able to see how things could be instead of how they are.
As glorious and as challenging as that optimistic vision has been for me personally and professionally, it has shown me that change happens every day. Sometimes over long periods of time. Sometimes in an instant. Moreover, as Ray Kurzweil points out, it’s happening faster and faster every cycle.
In fact one of the challenges we face is that things are going too fast, so as John Naisbit predicts, we are seeing a SnapBack effect. People are slowing down a bit, increasing their mindfulness, seeking greater meaning and purpose in their life’s work. The slow food movement. The third metric. Unplugging at Camp Grounded. Reconnecting with life, the universe and everything.
Research has proven the link between happiness and economic productivity, well being and prosperity. The data and the anecdotes show we are better off when we work with each other, as teams united by a common purpose. It’s certainly been true within winning sports teams, especially the dynasties such as those of John Wooden, Phil Jackson and Knute Rockne. Sure they all had star players, but they coached collaboration, selflessness and the fundamentals especially well.
Companies are beginning deep organizational transformations looking at things like self management and holacracy. They are learning from the military, from sports and from radical experiments that challenge everything we know. We are seeing smaller and smaller teams crush larger, better funded competitors. We are seeing ideas like Uber, Airbnb and Quirky reimagine entire industries and the very economic pillars of society.
Yet the systems in which we work, and the tools we developed are largely unchanged. Designd for personal productivity first and foremost, for an individual working with a computer instead of being designed for an individual working together with another individual. Collaboration is more focused on conversation. Or worse, it’s focused around file sharing. As if it was the same thing as FIRE sharing. As if it was the best place to gather around for warmth, friendship and collaboration. As if it was the best context in which we bond with team mates instead of being the end result of what we do together.
But the heart of business has been transformed, by new attitudes of a new generation in the workforce. By the sweat and sacrifice of those who have been fighting for what is right their entire careers. They bring a different perspective then what we’ve always been taught as “the way things have always been done”. They are a legion of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who have realized things don’t always have to be this way. That they won’t always be this way. That they control not only their own future, but their own present.
These are the transformers. The change agents. The pioneers who are re shaping the status quo. The champions who are reimagining the world to make it a better place, to fix our problems and seize our opportunities. The game changers who are literally rewriting the rules of their organizations and lighting a path for others to follow. People like Tony Hsieh and his collision theories; Matt Mullenweg and his globally distributed company of contributors; and Blake Mycoskie of Tom’s Shoes who is pioneering the social enterprise movement.
But there are far more change agents in the trenches then in the spotlight. These are the people I’ve been fortunate to call friends over the last decade. These are the folks on the front line, suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous attacks on their efforts to do the right thing. These are my peers, my friends and the giants upon whose shoulders I stand today. Indeed, it is for these people who have been standing up to injustice, stupidity and systemic failure of our institutions for whom I have built Alynd.
These are the people who know they are better if we are all better. The people who know we can accomplish more together, aligned in the strength of our convictions and in the belief in their ability to contribute an important verse to this symphony we call life. They are the people who do all the work and get little of the credit. They aren’t always the ceo’s favorite, in fact as I learned from a dear friend I’ll call Jeff (because that’s his name) they are also the ones management often warns you to avoid. The edgelings and the rebels, the unreasonable men and women without whom we have no progress.
What I see before us may seem incredius to some, but given my. 20+ years doing this, I have never been more confident in the impending explosion of fundamental changes to our socioeconomic foundations. To the contextual shift in our focus, to the exponential returns on time we will realize as we find our people, purpose and potential aligned with one another, acting with radical integrity in systems with radical transparency.
Of course, I see a future where Alynd is a key aspect of the foundation on which this vision for the future of work is realized. By using the natural process great teams use to collaborate we produce better results more consistently. By embracing personal accountability to do what we say we will do we demonstrate the respect we have for our word, for ourselves and for our teams. Using Alynd, it is my deepest desire that more people are able to free up their emotional energy to invest back into themselves, their team mates, their families and their communities.
When I think back to that day in Monterey when I presented my thoughts on transforming the heat of business under the banner of making love at work, I’m touched now by how right I was in spirit and how lacking I was in execution. Perhaps that is really what the last several years have taught me, particularly during my time at Deloitte. Today, looking at the future and the road ahead we will walk together, I realize the only way to make my vision of a better world a reality is by investing the rest of my life reimagining the systems and tools that support and emslave us, to help set our human spirits free to realize their full HUMAN potential, happy and engaged in their life’s purpose.
Together with your help, all of this and more is possible. Will you join me? Will you reach out and talk to me about doing an alpha pilot with Alynd for your teams? If you’re ready to leave the status quo behind and embrace the mindsets, methods and measure of the new world of work today, contact me today.