For the last twenty years, I’ve been working with leaders and organizations on the frontier of the digital revolution. Two years ago I realized I had been going about it all wrong. There was a flaw in the system, invisible if you didn’t know where to look.
Like many, I was trained in the school of best practice. I had adopted Peter Drucker’s maxim that leadership is “doing the right things” and management is “doing things right.”
My epiphany came when I realized that this only works in times of stability and incremental change. In times of disruption and transformation, the landscape itself changes. Our mental maps become outdated. You can’t just do new things. You also have to think in new ways.
I suddenly saw why so many digital strategies had failed. Companies had copied the best practices of those achieving exponential results: platforms, networks, communities, ecosystems. But they copied the behavior without copying the underlying thinking.
I realized that:
New Doing + Old Thinking = Old Results (Incremental and Predictable)
New Doing + New Thinking = New Results (Exponential and Transformative)
I also realized this meant I had to turn my business inside out. I had been using new ways of thinking to help companies figure out what to do. Instead, I needed to help them figure out how to think. And this meant not just helping leaders and teams learn, but also unlearn. I found a new name, Shift Thinking, and created a shared purpose of updating leaders’ thinking for a digital age.
For the last two years I have been working with remarkable companies and developing a set of “power tools” that enable shifts in thinking about engagement, loyalty, leadership, and culture. I have written about some of these in my Harvard Business Review column and over the next six months I will be turning these principles and concepts into a book.
This week marks the launch of a new Shift Thinking website where you can read about my approach and learn about my work with leaders and organizations. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Rita at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a complimentary 30-minute consult.
Thank you for your interest and support. I look forward to the journey ahead.
Chief Epiphany Officer