A central principle of Shift Thinking is that changes in how we think naturally lead to changes in what we do. In the last two newsletters, I’ve written about the mindset of Shift Thinking. This month I turn to the practice. This should help those who are wondering, “So what does Shift Thinking actually do?”
As you may know, I love metaphors. I find them a powerful way to translate insight into new contexts. So to understand my work, imagine yourself hanging from a trapeze bar with a fraying rope and no net below. The rational thing to do is hang on as long as you can. You will only jump when there is a new bar within reach. In this metaphor, the old bar represents the outdated mental modeIs of value creation. My job is to create a new bar in the form of new ways of thinking, bring it within reach, and foster the unlearning required to move from the old to the new.
I help organizations and leaders make the jump in a variety of ways.
Writing helps to spread the word, but also forces me to think through my ideas and see what resonates in the market. Over the last month, I’ve published a few articles in Harvard Business about new ways of thinking related to:
- Strategy: "Focus on Keeping up with Your Customers, Not Your Competitors"
- Marketing: "Build Your Brand as a Relationship"
- Culture: "How Leaders Can Let Go Without Losing Control"
I’m proud of the network of partners and clients with whom I’m able to collaborate and co-create. The first article, written with Gene Cornfield, emerged from my work on strategic narrative with Accenture Digital. The second article, written with Cara France, came from my partnership with Marketers that Matter. (I’m excited about the MTM Summit this week for top Bay Area marketers). The third article reflects work with Bionic Solution, a growth accelerator, and Current, a new business powered by GE.
The second activity for Shift Thinking is speaking and live workshops. I love seeing audiences have the “aha” moments when they see the world and their own business in a new way. The Shift concepts are remarkably versatile, and they take different forms depending on the company and industry. For example, in health care I've been speaking on the shift from consumer to co-creator and from health care to health.
The third activity is advisory work. I’ve built consulting firms in the past, but I found that I ended up spending most of my time with my consultants instead of my clients. This time I’m focused on building the capabilities of my client organizations. My work generally falls into three areas: developing strategic narratives around a shared purpose; designing Brand Orbits® that generate deeper and more authentic customer engagement; and defining Decision Doctrine® to transform culture and empower employees.
In the coming months, I’ll be working on two other directions. First, I’m excited to be moving forward on a book proposal about Shift Thinking. I will also be exploring the use of video to increase the “speed to epiphany.” Look for more in the next newsletter.
I welcome your stories and insights, whether about life on the Digital Trapeze or ways in which you are shifting your thinking personally or for your business.