by Janet Sernack
Australia is experiencing a range of catastrophic Black Swan environmental events, including mega bushfires, floods, hail and dust storms which have now catalyzed as serious wicked problems. Simultaneously, we are living in disruptive VUCA conditions, yet we are generously and courageously helping out others, to save homes, native animals, and flora and fauna. In a state of political instability and uncertainty, and, like the rest of the global community, we are being challenged by the emerging threat of a coronavirus pandemic. Such a range of catastrophic conditions provides global and local opportunities for an inflection point to emerge. Our governments and our organizations are facing a time of significant change, also be described as a turning point where “the economy has crossed an inflection point and is poised for bigger things”. Creating an opportunity to evoke deep change by shifting consciousness, by cultivating enhanced levels of personal and systemic self-awareness.
Resulting in consciously choosing what might be the most useful, creative and intelligent set of responses to these catastrophic crises and disruptive VUCA conditions. According to Singularity University, evidence of this already exists; where powerful new entrepreneurs are consciously working strategically and systemically, towards integrating exponential technologies with human factors to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
What do we mean by consciousness?
Consciousness: “the state of being aware of and responsive to one’s surroundings” is at the core of our ImagineNation™ innovation model. It involves evoking and cultivating the states and qualities of mind, through intentional and specific mindset shifts, that enable us to be and think differently, as well as to act differently by taking intelligent and right actions that serve the collective and the good of the whole system.
Evoke deep change by shifting consciousness – where attention goes, energy flows
Our approach and method involve:
- Knowing how to pay deep attention to step into the unknown, to explore and discover what is really going on in the whole system, through retreat, stillness, silence and reflective inquiry practices.
- Being mindful, composed and detached in a disruptive VUCA world, through being proactive, in choosing what might be the most useful, imaginative, creative and intelligent set of responses in the situation and being accountable for delivering it.
- Being intentional towards manifesting what is wanted, being fully present, aware and attentive as to what happens in the worlds both inside and outside of our worlds, with detachment, wonder and curiosity.
- Making fundamental choices that interrupt conventional ways of delivering results, allowing, and not forcing them to emerge, diverge and converge, by operating at higher levels and frequencies of co-creative consciousness.
To mindfully engage, motivate and pull people towards cracks, opening and thresholds that inspires them to shift their way of being, thinking and doing, and evoke deep change through shifting consciousness, to be fluid and flow purposefully in disruptive VUCA conditions.
Crossing the post-conventional threshold
Our approach incorporates and integrates the work of Dr. Nick Udall, in “Riding the Creativity Rollercoaster” with innovation, described as making changes that add value and successfully bring the new to the world.
In his book, he describes this as “crossing the post-conventional threshold” where:
“Organizational cultures, leaders, and teams need to step over in order to create containers and hold spaces potent enough and large enough to:
- Catalyze creative insights and collective breakthroughs
- Face into the super wicked problems of society
- Ultimately evoke the music of innovation – thereby enabling us all to live and work at a higher, co-creative frequency.”
What is the ImagineNation™ innovation model?
To evoke deep change through shifting consciousness, requires us to dance fluidly and flow purposefully in disruptive VUCA conditions, it also involves cultivating collective creativity and collective consciousness across key phases:
- Connect with others, with sensing and empathizing with the opportunity or problem, as well as connecting and associating with the patterns and trends emerging, diverging and converging in the whole system.
- Explore with a paradox lens and an open mind, heart and will as to “what is” with applying elastic thinking to evoke “what could be”.
- Discover cracks, emerge opening and thresholds for emerging and colliding creative ideas for creating and capturing value to target markets.
- Design using human-centered design thinking and generative discovery skills to invent high-value solutions that customers will appreciate and cherish
- Deliver commercial, impactful and sustainable valuable outcomes, through developing a culture of inclusion, collaboration, and accountability that people appreciate and cherish.
Creativity is about bringing the “new” to mind described in the book as:
“Being the dance between what we know and don’t know, and it is through this dance that we make meaning of the world around us. Making the unknown knowable, the unconscious conscious, and the invisible visible”.
It is a mindful, emergent and whole body, neurological process, that brings forth this newness. Requiring cultivating an open mind (curiosity and detachment), an open heart (connection and compassion) and an open will (being willing to let go of control and wilfulness and being courageous and confident in the face of the unknown disruptive VUCA conditions.)
To awaken states and qualities of mind (mindsets) that help creativity flow and flourish as well as create intentional pattern interrupts to “business as usual” or habitual states and qualities of mind that inhibit or kill our curiosity and creativity. To then co-create a frequency that allows us to “awaken” the leadership qualities, consciousness, states and qualities of mind, our cognitive, heart and gut intelligence that help creativity flourish, and dispel those that kill it.
Evoke deep change through shifting consciousness involves an awakening
The “awakening” process aims to raise people’s levels of Self, Relational and Systemic Awareness, so they become conscious organisms and tap into the wider collective intelligence available to us in the whole system.
- Invention involves a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. It may be an improvement upon a machine or product or a new process for creating an object or a result. An invention that achieves a completely unique function or result may be a radical or disruptive breakthrough.
- Innovation involves making changes that add value, knowing how to be present, see, respond to opportunities and solve problems in creative ways that people value and cherish
- Inclusion is both the involvement and the empowerment of people, where their inherent worth and dignity is recognized. An inclusive approach promotes and sustains a sense of belonging; it values and practices respect for the talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living of its members.
- Collaboration in the context of innovation is when two or more people (often groups and teams) work purposefully together, across silos to maximize differences and diversity, to generate creative ideas for accomplishing a common goal.
- Accountability involves giving and keeping your word, negotiating a contract between two or more parties, involves giving your word, for what you are being counted on, to deliver. What a person has committed, or has promised, to deliver, as a measurable, timely and specific outcome.
Considering that the technologies that are emerging, diverging and converging, are getting faster and faster, you might also take a moment to hit your own pause button, retreat and reflect how you might evoke deep change through shifting consciousness?
Especially in the face of the unknown and with disruptive VUCA conditions continuing to confront, challenge and confuse us, how might you enhance your level of personal and systemic self-awareness, to help create the inflection and turning points the world needs right now?
Join the next free monthly innovation webinar in our Making Innovation a Habit Series – “Dancing with Disruption.” It’s on Tuesday, 3rd March at 9.00 pm London, 5.00 am New York & 1.00 pm San Francisco and on Wednesday, 4th March at 8.00 am Sydney & Melbourne, 2020. Register.
Find out about The Coach for Innovators Certified Program, a collaborative, intimate and deep personalized innovation coaching and learning program, supported by a global group of peers over 8-weeks, starting October 20, 2020. It is a blended learning program that will give you a deep understanding of the language, principles, and applications of a human-centered approach to innovation, within your unique context. Find out more.