Psychological insights show how, where and why we connect with each other the way we do.
Our passion is to create sustainable environments in organizations that put people first and grow authentic human-centric places to work. The results are innovative business models and processes that drive economic growth for all stakeholders.
We value storytelling because leaders and their stakeholders really do have the answers within themselves. They have the way forward, and we help them find it.
chained to cave thinking
Chained to “cave” thinking is a world of appearances for others to follow.
Too many decisions and beliefs are being formed within the cloistered caves of dream worlds. Seeing only what we want to see, or hearing only what we want to hear—create toxic climates and cultures. Chained to “cave” thinking is a world of appearances for others to follow.
Here be Dragons
Cave thinking is illusionary. Where shadows seem real, while dragons lie in wait.
Dragons are the root causes of problems, hiding in the shadows. But mokita must be challenged. While shadows seem real, dragons lie in wait.
see and lead in the dark
Brilliance Lies Within All Stakeholders.
Success and failure in business are linked to human behavior—what people do, how they do it, and especially why they do it.
Seeing and leading in the dark must go beyond solutions of “data wizards.” They can blind rather than illuminate. Each stakeholder has their story, and must have a chance to tell it. Creating value for leadership, their organizations and stakeholders, first depends on helping them see the value in themselves: Multiple worldviews, mental models, mindscapes, and cultural differences exist amongst us all, including creative ways to bridge them.
Get Out of the Cave
The cave thinking approach to problem-solving often leads to recurring cycles of change without benefit.
The churn created can result in bigger problems. It breeds apathy among stakeholders. Trust is easily lost, and hard to win back.
Cave-dwellers can see very little. Stakeholders don’t have the courage to say so. This fear creates perceived helplessness promoting “normalizing the abnormal.” It’s still “abnormal.” Despite ill effects and results; do you have the courage to change it?
Climb High and Fear Builds
Authenticity, as the saying goes, is living without the fear of it.
Where business is simply about making as much money as possible, business is mainly managing for economic decline. Labor is traded for money with a preference for buying over developing talent. Trust is easily lost. And hard to win back. Fading opportunity and expectations lead to a sense of learned helplessness.
Craft New Realities
The emperor has no clothes. Dominant narratives in organizations—where people see or hear, only what they want to—must be rewritten.
We need to start thinking ‘Fs’ are the new ‘As,’ contends Tony Wagner. Without failures, there can be no transcendent thinking or innovation.
Our Core Service Offerings
We collaborate on work experiences that authentically prepare leaders and their stakeholders for real-world experiences, not more of “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”
Understanding the Environment
Are you tired of being another Jurassic Park franchise, fixated on creating a theme park of cloned dinosaurs?
The private, public and social sectors are full of examples of enterprises that fail to adapt or survive in their operating environment, and like dinosaurs, are disappearing.
Being able to identify oncoming risks (blind spots and mokita), anomalies, and what is authentically causing them, makes or breaks your organization. Our global network of analytics and research professionals help you find patterns in your data so you can avoid risks, work past them, and spot opportunities. They collaborate with you to provide predictive analytics and data visualization built for you. As part of this collaborative compass, they explore with you how to use data discovery to drive smarter insights and actions to improve business performance.
Why do you need this?
Our analytics professionals help you answer your business questions — discover and create new approaches, mindshare and thinking technologies using your own words to explore and visualize your data. They help you to take confident action on insights — discover what is influencing outcomes so you can act authentically. And they collaborate with you to tell a compelling story — create dashboards so you can share your insights and create a full picture of often fragmented, complex problems. Whether these involve conventional thinking (mokita and blind spots) or a narrow bandwidth of consciousness or visualizations, we can help you quickly spot the trends and their causes (e.g. customer buying patterns or other behaviors) and help you seize untapped opportunities based on them.
Our consultants help you discover the innovative thinking technologies and business changing recommendations that can become your center of gravity (CoG) and a key differentiator.
They look beneath the surface in your ecosystems and environments at the sophisticated and veiled (blind spots and mokita) dimensions of human behavior in your organization. They provide a clear analysis of your company’s structure, processes, climate and team dynamics, people, and leadership — to practice and succeed with authenticity — discovering insights without borders and developing the courage to act on them.
With a mosaic of methods, in-depth practical skill sets and experiences, our consultants help you discover and work through the preconscious properties of groups and systems, with their preconceived ideas, perceptions, feelings and attitudes about relationships and work, which are affecting negatively your brand equity and the economics of your value chain. These elements are usually hidden habitually from awareness because of politics and intense anxieties aroused in your ecosystems and environments. So, ask yourself then, why should stakeholders put skin in the game?
Culture Work & Cultural Transformations
In our rapidly changing world, C-suites and stakeholders are facing two primary challenges: solving leadership gaps and creating sustainable cultures and climates. We help you find the keys to unlock your leadership development capabilities and your cultural transformation opportunities so you can set up and sustain long-term growth and change resilience.
We collaborate with you to discover and break free from a myriad of Here Be Dragons: such as demands for increased complexity, navigating new markets, assimilating new types of technologies, and building strategies for organic growth.
Culture and climate are diagnosed best by the work behaviors they promote. How easy is it for your leadership and stakeholders to collaborate? Are they making decisions, habitually as individuals, or principally in matrix management? How open is your leadership and stakeholders with their information to one another, level to level, group to group? Is after action reviews (successes and failures), and lessons learned foreign languages and vocabulary?
Our passion is to help you discover your authenticity — the distinctions among the values you want to develop, the actions you are changing, and the recurring behaviors you hope to instill. Your recurrent behaviors like Here Be Dragons have cultural impact because they are contagious. Worse yet, they can torch you into a scorched muddle. Leadership and stakeholders will imitate preconsciously what they see others do.
Your company’s identity — body of capabilities and practices that distinguish you and make you effective — is embodied in the way leadership and stakeholders think and behave — Mindshare is often more important than market share. Shared perspective of all stakeholders is key.
We partner with you so you can drive your scalable methodologies to drive your organizations, leadership and stakeholders to become explicit and deliberate authentically about behavior change and behavioral operating norms. We help you learn and apply your powerful behaviors that create your high trust, highly engaged climates and cultures.
Our organizational therapy process is a force multiplier that we use to establish a helping relationship with you, your leadership and stakeholders, so you all can own the process and the pace of behavior change. Our process creates the holding environment for us to be attuned and attentive to you, as you embrace the language and behaviors of authentic trust in the context of your real work. Doing so, helps cultivate your insights without borders for achieving high trust, and empowering you to create your engaged climates and cultures, sustaining them as strategic assets and force multipliers within your organization and teams.
Our professionals bring unique expertise and a rich collection of worldwide practical experiences and skill sets to support the application of socio-cultural (human geography) knowledge capital and practices in your operational environments. They offer real-world guidance or service as force multipliers to your decision makers, influencers and stakeholders accountable for what initiatives, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), including programs are critical paths for achieving socio-cultural synergy in your enterprise.
They offer you weathered guidance on what has or has not worked from their experience sets on initiatives, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), including programs examining and affecting socio-cultural (human geography) spheres and understanding in decision-making processes, and key leader engagements.
Many of our professionals have multilayered expertise, practical functional experiences and skill sets in identifying nation-state security interests within multicultural contexts and different geographies related to a multitude of issues and narratives. They have authored, developed, and then back briefed to varied audiences on socio-cultural (human geography) intelligence products informed by a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods and collection processes, including classified and unclassified data sets.
They bring unique creative approaches to difficult problem sets, including fusing academic qualitative and quantitative approaches, human geography, and innovative intelligence analysis to help you illustrate practical findings applicable to your decision makers, influencers, and stakeholders within your enterprise.
A Closed Mouth Doesn’t Get Fed
Trying to feed yourself and others holding spoons with very long handles?
What and how you think about reality—what you eat—either stands in your way or makes it possible for your enterprise to move forward with dispatch. This mindshare requires a certain skill. Learning to feed each other. It opens new ecosystems and environments of innovation, intellectual and emotional capital, and thought equity. Without this mindshare, malnutrition sets in. Or worse yet, it can lead to famine and starvation.
Education-based Issues & Community & NGO Engagement
Education-based and NGO products, services, and programs rotate on the active involvement and help from communities. These partners help your enterprise to build capacity. Contributing to other people’s efforts lands on understanding their priorities and gaining their support. Empowering people to help themselves.
Our professionals focus on relationships as much as the delivery. Collectively, our professionals have decades of experience working in or with the not-for-profit and NGO sectors and with National, State, and local governments. They have skill and expertise working in multi-cultural settings and bring practical support to you for enhancing access to culturally relevant services.
They have hands-on experience and skill sets working with groups with diverse dynamics and creating spaces to have authentic dialogue. They collaborate with you on providing the environments for you, your organization, and teams to have the discussions you must have to identify your common themes and issues and land shared solutions.
Planning and implementation processes specific to your organizational needs and resources develop from the understanding of your challenges and future aspirations. Our professionals collaborate with you to help you set realistic goals, identify opportunities, and allocate your resources.
The effectiveness of your organization’s structure, staffing, and internal processes determines the likelihood of reaching your mission and fulfilling your objectives. Our professionals bring innovative perspectives and approaches so you can maximize the effectiveness of your structure and invigorate your workplace culture and your staff’s journey with you.
Change processes and the success with them help leadership and stakeholders to empower people to help themselves. Our professionals help you to cultivate cultures that inspire you to discover and work through your story pattern and not just the content. These efforts lead to authentic change every time. Building full organizational ownership and support for change is a center of gravity to our approach to change management.
Marketing & Sales
We collaborate with you to carefully craft your combination of sales programs and marketing campaigns, vital for your successful business growth. Selling or making sales and marketing consist of interpersonal interaction that you engage in with your prospects and customers. Mindshare is often more important than market share in competing. Own the relationship with your market, and you win.
With our unique marketing insights and approaches, we can help you see the marketplace from the perspective of your customers looking back towards your company. We help you lead your business where it needs to be for a prosperous future. Our professionals work with you to direct your organization toward the segments, or groups of customers and channels where your company can profitably compete. We help you see what product offerings, pricing, and communication you need to modify to meet the needs of your distribution channels and end customers.
Our professionals have unique expertise, and a variety of practical experiences and skill sets to help you convert market insights into tools and tactics to attract your markets, build relationships, and develop leads. They offer guidance on sales helping you focus on where you should be doing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to support your company’s strategies and operational plans.
Getting It Done
Are you working harder instead of smarter?
It may seem complicated on the outside, but the end goal is to spend less time doing the things you must do so you have more time for the things you want to do. How, why, and what rate new ideas, innovation, and change spread.
Demand Planning & Capability
Increasing competition and rising customer expectations in our global village are forcing you and others to improve your delivery capability and reliability. You must reduce lead times and increase flexibility. These issues could keep you chained to cave thinking and performing. Or they could inspire you to create aligned and harmonized demand planning capability, including process, planning hierarchies, streamlined planning organizations and increased supply chain flexibility – all in service of achieving enhanced competitiveness.
We collaborate with you to develop new integrated demand planning capabilities and broad functional experiences in demand planning processes and supportive organizational design. We partner with you to identify key areas for improvements based on authentic as-is-analysis of your existing planning processes and information flows throughout your business segments. Working together, we can help you develop a common shared planning hierarchy across your products and services, and design the future demand planning process that generates your global demand plan. Using action learning, we facilitate or collaborate directly with you to determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) to steer the process. And we partner with you to develop the organizational design, including roles and responsibilities.
Our consultants have deep expertise in a mosaic of industries and have practical experience in demand planning processes and organizational design. They collaborate with you on technical requirements and detailed designs. We help you discover the planning tools you need to meet and support your processes and provide transparency on your demand plan to all planners globally. Our business process and project management frameworks help you, and your teams develop streamlined demand planning and capability. Then, we harmonize it across all segments of activity.
Our professionals are involved with you from strategy through execution and have a unique focus on impact and sustainability at every stage of your project life-cycle. We provide continuous, distinctive support ensuring that you achieve and sustain the full benefits of agreed upon changes.
We work in small teams with you to build your capabilities, systems, and processes to deliver bottom-line results, ensure they are sustained, and transform your business narratives from merely interesting to impressive. Our work often becomes coaching you and others to achieve success in implementing your new approaches and delivering lasting outcomes. Our professionals collaborate with you on tracking metrics, handling complex analyses, and preparing communications to report back to senior leadership and stakeholders.
Our professionals work shoulder-to-shoulder with you and your staff on each project, assisting with implementation tasks. This course of action often includes facilitating working sessions with a full collection of decision makers, influencers, and stakeholders in your organization, connecting with and motivating the team, or developing the skills of your team members through coaching. Our professionals all have some common traits — leadership, integrity, a sharp analytical mind, creativity, and the ability to work with your people across all levels in your organization.
Operations and Organizations
Our work with you focuses on agility, achieving authentic alignments where strategy, goals and truthful purpose reinforce one another. We help you discover how to develop and manage trust in the ability of your stakeholders to move in the right direction. We partner with you to create and manage the connections among direction, strategy, goals, and purpose to transform your business narratives from merely interesting to impressive.
Our professionals help your C-suite and other stakeholders to develop initiatives and interventions that generate excitement about the direction their company is taking and about the increases in earning’s margins they are achieving. They help you turn your visions into viable strategies that guide operational planning. Too often senior leadership may believe they are doing well, but often their view proves problematic because of blind spots and mokita. We help you confront the realities of such viewpoints. We help you discover ways to nurture your stakeholders’ inner work lives as well so they can authentically engage in meaningful work, too.
We collaborate with you on designing your organization so it can reduce costs, drive growth, and authentically strengthen both short-term performance and long-term organizational health. We help you break free of chained to cave thinking where organizations function within cloistered walls of a cave with half-seen images on walls that are taken as real. Cave thinking leads to working from shadows, where stakeholders adopt false beliefs and make bad decisions. We help you see clearly and design solutions to manage complexity and then scale them globally to ensure your sustained performance.
Performance (Process) & Human Performance Improvement
Our professionals partner with your discipline technical leads, technical specialists, discipline capability representatives, and your other professionals to deliver developmental roadmaps that support your strategic and operational goals. They use performance improvement principles, practices and processes to plan your roadmap development projects, build productive relationships with stakeholders, assemble and investigate existing discipline resources, analyze jobs, develop and validate content across roles, and prepare subsequent implementation, including handoff for the development of baseline tools and communications support.
They also guide or even co-develop educational resources including training, facilitating and coaching stakeholders in the purpose and uses of your developmental roadmaps, as well as processes, tools, techniques, and best practices involved in creating them. Through face-to-face workshops and working sessions, our professionals work closely with your senior leadership, technical experts, specialists, and master performers to develop the information to craft agreed upon adaptive systems and programs. Together with your team, we create job experience supports, formal learning, and structured but informal support resources.
Watch Your Six
Are you on the watch for Velociraptors?
They study your every move. Attack from every side. And even adapt to your defenses. We all may know they’re out there as we strive for a balanced optimum in these competitive environments. These multidimensional rivalries require a different form of analysis. Depletion or abundance. Which are you?
Risk & Strategy
Our professionals bring a mosaic of unique approaches and guidance, processes, tools, and techniques, including best-practices to risk and strategy. A key differentiator of IWB is our global, cross-sector, cross-functional view of risks, combined with our deep industry insights and strategy skills as well as our structured risk-management approach and methodologies focused on authentic transformation, analytical tools, and practical implementation.
Our professionals offer real-world guidance or service as force multipliers providing expertise and practical skill sets on your strategic, operational, and tactical level risks. They collaborate with you on solution strategies to identify, avoid, mitigate or respond to dynamic, evolving and multi-layered challenges. They have supported organizations both small and large to discover, understand, and manage risk domestically and globally, including in some of the globe’s most challenging environments. Our professionals work at all levels, from the CEO and executive boards, through to national, program and site levels. And they can support your organization on an as needed basis for guidance and advice.
Business management continuity, or the lack therein, is squared up through aligned policies, plans, and protocols. Our professionals have the expertise and weathered skill sets to help you define business continuity objectives and outcomes, establish the organizational structures that you must deliver to ensure sustainability through awareness raising and capacity building.
Pass the Baton
The race is about the runners, not the baton.
Brilliance lies within all your stakeholders in your enterprise. The relay should bring out the best in everyone. A baton drop doesn’t automatically disqualify your team. The secret of learning is failing early, fail often. Without failure, nothing can be discovered. Few of our failures are fatal, as Tim Hartford contends.
Innovation – Entrepreneurship – Leading For Creativity
We partner with you to become a distinctive contributor in your product, process, or business model innovations. We help you to stimulate, support and reward innovative behavior and thinking among your decision makers, influencers, and stakeholders. We find ways to embed innovation into the fabric of your climate and culture from group to group, level to level.
Our professionals work alongside you and your staff to discover the strategic, creative executions, and organizational factors you need to innovate successfully. We help you find your business model innovations that can change the economics of your value chain, diversify your profit streams, and modify your delivery models, which will become a vital part of your strong innovation portfolio. Mindshare is often more important than market share.
We help you discover and manage your insight discovery process that extends beyond your company’s boundaries to include your idea generating stakeholders. These partnerships can become the lifeblood of your innovation in your product, process, or business model innovations. We work in small teams with you to develop your knowledge capital, build your intellectual property and brand equity, including your investments in information technologies, R&D, and marketing. Our professionals help you focus on your human capital and your investments in building individual and organizational skills for driving productivity growth. Our professionals have deep expertise and relevant functional experience and skill sets in developing employee training programs and other investments in organizational efficiencies like the redesign of business processes or review of business models. This focus will improve your quality of initiatives and provide roadmaps to promote your innovation investments, address your critical business issues (CBIs) and develop your key performance indicators (KPIs).
When organizational changes are necessary, we work with you to promote collaboration, learning, and experimentation. Our professionals help you discover how your leadership and stakeholders are and should be sharing ideas and knowledge freely in their teams working on different types of innovation. Our experts offer real-world guidance or service as force multipliers on improving your project team structures, so they will always have new blood, and ensure your lessons learned from successes and failures are captured and assimilated.
Most enterprises struggle with discovering ways to recognize their innovation efforts even when they fall short of success. Our professionals contribute to one of our key differentiators among the herd mentality of consulting agencies you can choose. They collaborate with you to transform your mindshare so you can appreciate the value of failing early, and often, as your access to authentic innovation.
Our high-performing professionals work hard with you to develop your entrepreneurial ecosystems and environments, which help you deliver your changes, and inspire creativity. This work focuses on developing or increasing collaborations and ecosystems where your multi-layered stakeholders are critical in the formation and development of your innovation clusters, cross-functional collaboration, continuous learning cycles, and clear decision pathways to enable innovation.
We work in small teams with you to develop your managers, so they will have the right knowledge, skills, and experience to make crucial decisions on time. Our consultants, experts, and professionals all have had skin in the game when it comes to moving innovations continuously through organizations that creates and maintains competitive advantage without exposing organizations to unnecessary risk.
Learning & Talent Development
We collaborate with you in your assessment of learning and talent development needs, development of interventions, and implementation of your portfolio of talent solutions in support of your company’s strategies and operational plans. Our professionals consult with you and your stakeholders to develop action plans to close human performance gaps and implement solutions related to your business issues and challenges. We work with your senior business leaders to ensure your program curricula are aligned with business unit strategies and enterprise-wide performance, talent management, and learning and human resource objectives.
Our professionals work with you to build customized programs that fit each organization’s unique business and purposeful context as well as learning and talent development objectives, including transforming large groups of leaders and managers. They can lead matrixed teams of internal and external resources to plan, validate, strategize, and communicate challenges, including providing expert guidance to revise recommendations while implementing programs.
We collaborate with you in developing real-world applications through role plays and our expertise we bring to unique experiential learning. We create or work with you in creating instructor moderated courses with our exceptional skills and guidance on social learning. We develop capstone projects with collaboration from your teams focusing on real-world breakthroughs and present them to your senior leadership. Our professionals have an applied understanding of group dynamics and managing high-performance teams who create group work with customized exercises done in small groups of peers to apply learning, facilitate networking, and enable authentic feedback. We conduct live webinars with expert-led virtual sessions reinforcing course learnings, introducing new concepts and facilitating peer interaction. And another key differentiator for us is our deep expertise developing coaching sessions with you, where our professionals combine their business expertise with their psychodynamic focus through self-examination and behavioral change.
How we interpret the world we encounter, is governed by our mental models. These can be psychological representations of real, hypothetical or even imaginary situations. They provide internal stability to us in a world of continuous change. But they also blind us to facts and ideas that challenge or defy our deeply held beliefs. By nature, they’re fuzzy and incomplete. We all have different models, some more elaborate than others, some well-founded and others not grounded at all. In the end, we see and hear what we want to see and hear.
We have chosen to use this term to refer to the beliefs, ideas, images, and verbal descriptions, which we consciously and preconsciously acquired from our experiences. When formed, they guide our thoughts and actions within narrow channels. These representations of “perceived reality” explain cause and effect to us, lead us to expect certain results, give meaning to events, and predispose us to behave in certain ways. In working with clients who are stuck in an unworkable place, our approach is to work with clients to shift these models in ways that open new possibilities for them.
IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
Like a landscape, a mindscape lays out the variety of thinking and behaving presently in a social community. It is the sociology of thinking and behaving or the socio-mental explanation of why our thinking is like or different from the way other people think around us.
We introduce this term because seeing our clients as social communities, produces the highest leverage for both uncovering root causes of problems and supporting sustainable solutions. We all are products of distinct social environments that affect, but more importantly, constrain the way we interact with our world. We experience our world personally through our senses and impersonally through mental membership in the social communities we belong to.
It is not isolated people who think, but individuals in groups with a particular style of thought. It’s a social construction of inter-subjectivity, the psychological relationships between people or shared meanings constructed by people in their interactions with each other and used as an everyday resource to interpret the meaning of experiences in social and cultural life.
Social Mindscapes are what we do or do not “share in common.” They are the “thought communities” to which we belong. And they are what we work with when engaging a client.
Karl Mannheim, 1980. Structures of Thinking. 1940. Man and Society in an Age of Reconstruction. 2001. Sociology as Political Education; Edward Sagarin and Robert J. Kelly — https://www.jstor.org/stable/40546528?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents; Eviator Zerubavel, 1997; IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
Cave thinking is the thinking of trapped organizations. When organizations function within cloistered walls of a cave with half-seen images on walls that are taken as real in the shadows, they adopt false beliefs and make bad decisions. These shadows are the illusory forms of obscured realities; at best the symptoms instead of the causes.
We use the image of cave thinking to illustrate a fundamental point in all our work. Initially stated problems are often not the real problems. Blind spots and preconscious problems repressed by shadowy symptoms complicate organizational functioning and polarize climate and culture leading to a cover your ass (CYA) or Trust your Neighbor but Brand your Stock mentality. Treating the shadowy illusions as reality erroneously normalizes the abnormal. This kind of thinking is a sure way for executives to break trust with those that depend on them and lead to certain economic decline on their watch, or bestowing it on to those to follow.
IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
We have a very special social way of looking at authentic change. It’s the willingness to be who we are; tell the truth in caring ways; and support the integrity of other’s concerns. The more we self-disclose, become authentic, accept vulnerability, and are truth tellers, the safer others will feel doing the same.
We have chosen to use this term to emphasize our commitment to shared experience and breaking down barriers as the key to organizational health and success. Whether it’s work-life balance, organizational alignment, high performance teams, or quality management, the secret is authenticity across all these boundaries. When people work across functions with authenticity as their core value, they produce change that works for everyone. Done this way it looks, feels, breathes, and sounds different every single time. Brilliance lies within each of us. We don’t get the benefit of that brilliance unless trust is high and the barriers are down so all freely contribute authentically to the work.
This level of trust does not occur in unsafe settings. We work closely with our clients to create that safety.
Kets de Vries, 2001; IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
In English translation, mokita is “the truth we all know but agree not to talk about.” It is a word taken from a language called Kivila and spoken in Papua New Guinea. Several concepts in the English language related to mokita are the “elephant in the room” and the “polite fiction” where everyone is aware of the truth but pretends to believe some alternative version to avoid shame, embarrassment, or conflict.
We introduce this term because we must challenge mokita. It is the only way to put an end to the truths we all know but agree not to talk about. It can do a great deal of damage to individuals, climates and cultures in organizations because we do not address the actual problems or work on the needed solution. Instead, we end up working on things that will make no difference, wasting time and resources. We believe that working with our clients, we can overcome mokita.
http://www.joshuakennon.com/mokita-the-truth-we-know-but-agree-not-to-talk-about/; IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
Sometimes our “stuckness” is within. We believe we are powerless when we are not. Learned helplessness is a behavioral or mental state in which we experience dehumanizing provocations and are unable or unwilling to avoid subsequent encounters because we have come to believe that we can’t control the situation. This inaction leads us to overlook opportunities for relief or change. We believe that the impacts of such unfortunate events persist and that it is our own fault.
We have introduced this idea because learned helplessness is organizational poison. It often becomes a narrative of cultural disempowerment. C-suites and stakeholders build concentric circles of excuses that absolve them of accountability for needing to change or deliver improvement. Instead of discovering creative ways to deal with aversive situations and events, they accept the status quo and blame external conditions for the problems that exist.
This spreading infection is passed on by C-suites and stakeholders from group to group and level to level. The standard response eventually is some variation of “We’d love to do that, but we really can’t.” These blind spots break trust and lead organizations to endure economic decline. In our work, we offer an antidote to help our clients rediscover their power and set them on a course of unlearning their helplessness.
https://hbr.org/2012/06/learned-helplessness-in-organi; https://web.stanford.edu/~ngoodman/papers/LiederGoodmanHuys2013.pdf; IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
“normalizing the abnormal”
People see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. We simplify the world to fit the structure of our prior notions and disregard any evidence we encounter that disconfirms to that structure. This structure, pattern, or scheme becomes an art form personalized by us to normalize the abnormal in our search for continuity in a world of discontinuity. As a result, we become separated from information that disagrees with our viewpoints, effectively isolating us in our cultural or ideological bubbles.
We introduce this concept to show how we get less exposure to conflicting viewpoints and become isolated intellectually in our own information bubbles. The choices we make in normalizing the abnormal as an art form are often hidden. This enables us to create our own new worlds through mental and behavioral force and not be found out. It gives us the ability to convince ourselves and others to believe almost anything through our mix of charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing prowess, appeasement or persistence. This is very dangerous to the health of organizations.
This impulse is the source of group-think, a process by which one or more dominate members convinces the group to withhold their own views in favor of the one supported by the dominate member. We help our clients combat normalizing the abnormal and we certainly stand against its elevation to an art form in organizations.
Engin Bozdag, 2013 — http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10676-013-9321-6; Huffington Post — http://www.huffingtonpost.in/ishtiaque-hossain/filter-bubbles-are-shrinking-our-minds/; Andy, Hertzfeld, 1981 — Reality Distortion Field; Andrea Dudrow, 2000 — Notes from the Epicenter: Exploring the Reality Distortion Field; Tim Ferriss, 2010 — How It Works: Clinton's Reality Distortion Field Charisma; IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
To us humans, dreams can be just as real as our perception of the real world. The real world is the creator’s reality, not ours. For us, there can be no such thing as reality because we have no access to it. We are cursed to forever be one step removed from it. All our contact with reality is mediated through our perceptions of it. The real world only seems like the “real world” because most of its inhabitants believe that it’s real. Likewise, dream worlds seem like unreality because we mostly agree to view it that way. So, which is the illusion and which is real? We must decide.
We have introduced this concept of dream worlds as a way of shaking our clients loose from the firm conviction that what they know to be true, is. There is immense opportunity for creativity, innovation, and invention in detaching ourselves from what our current thinking says is possible.
We must examine ourselves to see if what we believe to be true is illusory or not. Illusions are easy to understand and can be difficult to destroy. To shatter our illusions, we begin from the premise that everything that we believe has some non-zero probability of being false. We resist this assumption because when our illusions are destroyed, we are left naked and vulnerable before the world. Nevertheless, the price of living in reality, is identifying and giving up our dream worlds. To assist in this effort, we engage our clients in an inquiry into what’s so in their world such that after exploring the possibilities from many angles what’s illusory starts to become visible.
http://matrixrevival.blogspot.com/2007/06/waking-up-from-dream-world.html; The Matrix, IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
“recurring cycles of change”
We often respond to change as though it has no purpose or pattern in it. It is just chaos and we can make nothing of it. The change will re-present itself until we see the pattern and expand our thinking to accommodate it. This is what we mean by recurring cycles of change.
We have introduced this concept because many of us are locked in recurring cycles of change, chasing our own tails. We just don’t see the pattern; we don’t “get it.” These situations may occur with different decision makers, influencers, stakeholders or customers. Yet we keep making the same mistakes. We won’t move ahead until we deal with our blind spots and biases. If we don’t break free of this cycle, after a few iterations we will develop a fear of change itself because we have taught ourselves that whatever decision we make, it’s not going to turn out well for us. This fear of change is actually a fear of failure. Acknowledging this is the first step to break free from it.
Here is the second step. We are destined to repeat the same mistakes until we develop a new and expanded point of view and see the pattern. When we assist our clients in shifting their vantage point, then they begin to see alternatives previously hidden from their view and can end their recurring cycles of change. Because they can see the pattern from a new vantage point, they can absorb the change into their world and make it their new normal.
http://tinybuddha.com/blog/recognizing-our-patterns-and-learning-how-to-change-them/; IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
“thinking ‘Fs’ are the new ‘As’”
The secret of learning is fail early, fail often. Without failure, nothing new can be discovered. We encourage our clients to take on innovations that may fail (get a grade of F), rather than implementing more of the same and expecting improved results. Organizations that do that get a grade of ‘A’.
We emphasize the value of failure for a very simple reason. It’s the best way to learn how to improve, something we take very seriously in working with clients. To take on this mindset, we recommend transitioning away from education and training to satiate C-suites and stakeholders with knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). Instead, we recommend shifting the whole endeavor by focusing on developing innovation and creativity KSAs and let that deliver a new sense of motivation to succeed. The world doesn’t care what you know. Instead, it cares about what you can do with what you know, and that only comes with a particular kind of experience. The ability to think outside of the box comes from having stepped outside the box, failed, learned from that failure, and from having brought that learning on-board as a new base to work from.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ericaswallow/2012/04/25/creating-innovators/#1b81a90a7202; IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS
“transcendent thinking or innovation”
Most often the view from inside an organization is too ambiguous to guide action. But should a leader gain a new and higher vantage point, clarity becomes possible. Transcendent thinking is taking that long range, cross-organizational view. That is the place to be working from to enable innovation.
We have selected this phrase to invite organizations to bridge the gaps between their silos. Transcendent thinking and innovation allows us to feel out the new and revise the old so that our previous assumptions can be overturned and new ones formed, ones that better serve the organization as a whole.
IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS