Innovating from the Future – Part 5: Co-Evolving: Grow Innovation Eco Systems

The movement of co-shaping focuses on scaling the new while growing and evolving innovations Eco-systems for collective impact.

The problem with today’s societal eco-systems is the broken feedback loop between the parts and the whole. The essence of consciousness-based systems thinking like Theory U, is to relink the parts and the whole buy making the system sense and see itself – by closing the feedback loop between collective impact and shared awareness.

It is why innovation labs are working; it is why their initiatives have been able to succeed. But what about the larger eco-systems in which they and all of us operate?

That is where these new innovation infrastructures for making the system sense and see itself are largely missing. The lack of these infrastructures is one of the biggest barriers to societal innovation today.

This is important because we are in the midst of seeing the birth of a fourth co-ordination mechanism. The traditional mechanisms that co-ordinate our social and economic systems i.e. hierarchies, markets and interest group negotiations are not able to provide the governance mechanism required today. Therefor the fourth co-ordination mechanism is critical: acting from shared awareness – acting from seeing the whole.

The development of that collective capacity requires cultivation, practice and enabling infrastructure. That is what Co-Evolving is all about.

Outcomes of Co-Evolving:

  1. Reviewing prototype initiatives
  2. Sharing key learnings
  3. Deciding which prototypes/ideas to advance to the pilot phase
  4. Widening the focus from prototype to evolving the eco-system as whole
  5. Infrastructures that allow the eco-system to see itself
  6. A set of bottlenecks that, if removed, allowed the new to go to scale.
  7. Newly formed generative partnerships and alliances for scaling the new
  8. A new narrative that links the work with societal or civilizational renewal

Principles:

  1. Creating Enabling Infrastructures that allow the system to sense and see itself.
  2. Create Massive Capacity-Building mechanisms
  3. Labs and Platforms for Cultivating the Social Soil

Next write up: 24 Principles of Large Scale Leadership and Change Management Interventions

This write up is based on Theory U by MIT Prof. Dr. Otto Scharmer

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Leadership Rule: ENERGY follows ATTENTION

The way I pay attention shapes how the social reality around me unfolds.

I attend (this way), therefore it emerges(that way).

Energy follows attention.

Wherever you put your attention as a leader, as an innovator, as a change maker, or as a parent, that is where the energy of the system around you will go- including your own energy.

We need to cultivate and focus our attention.

We all live in a culture where technologies and multi tasking inhibit our capacity to sustain focused attention.

The biggest enemy of our capacity to sustain attention is of course our smartphones.

Energy follows attention means that the key to great leadership and breakthrough innovation lies in our capacity for sustained attention.

We have to focus on not only on the what- what we pay attention to, but even more son on the source: the place from which our attention originates.

There are 4 different types of listening, each of which operates from a different source.

  1. Habitual Listening: From my past experiences.
  2. Factual Listening: From my Open Mind
  3. Empathic Listening: From my Open Heart
  4. Generative Listening:From my Open Will

If the essence of leadership lies in our ability to shift the inner place from which we operate, then this means that we need to develop the collective capacity to operate from all four types of listening as required by the circumstances.

How do we develop this capacity to operate from all four types of listening?

Practicing every day.

  1. Downloading: Whenever you sit in a meeting in which everything that happens confirms what you expected, then you are downloading. Downloading is neither good or bad. It may be appropriate in one situation but not in another. It is just one type of listening. But if it is the only way you listen, then you are headed for trouble.
  2. Factual Listening: Moving from downloading to factual listening is quite doable: Just pay attention to what is most surprising, most unexpected, or most interesting. Cultivate your curiosity and pay attention to everything that deviates from your earlier expectations (i.e. to dis-confirming data). Capture these observations in a journal to ensure that you don’t lose them and the habit becomes stronger.
  3. Empathic Listening: Moving from factual to empathic listening requires you to step into the perspective of another person. Taking this step requires you to love the other person to activate the intelligence of the heart. Love begins by accepting people the way they are and the way they are not. You could also find things to appreciate about them. Get interested in them.
  4. Generative Listening: Moving from empathic to generative listening is the most challenging. It is something that you cannot force. You can create conditions for generative listening. The most important intervention at this level is : DO NOTHING. Do not intervene. Do not disengage. Just STAY WITH and hold the space for what wants to emerge.

Like a flame when applied to metal, nothing happens. But if you keep the flame ON for a while, the metal begins to change from solid to liquid. Similarly, as you continue to apply deep listening, over time the conversation will drop to a deeper level, to a different state. That is the leadership expected from all of us.

This write up is based on Theory U by MIT Prof. Dr. Otto Scharmer

Presencing Vs Absencing : Creation Vs Destruction — The Leadership Challenge

There is fair amount of PRESENCING in the world; the sensing and actualizing of our highest future potential. But there is much more ABSENCING also happening on the planet right now.

In the world of Absencing the three enemies of Voice of Judgement, Voice of Cynicism and Voice of Fear show up as:

IGNORANCE

HATE

FEAR

IGNORANCE: The closing of the mind. (Stuck in One Truth).

HATE: The closing of the heart (Stuck in One Us Vs. Them)

FEAR: The closing of the will ( Stuck in One Will)

What happens to a social system that operates on these principles?

It creates an architecture of separation by building walls. It facilitates a disconnect (denying, de-sensing) form the world around us, from the world that is emerging (absencing), which results in blaming others (an inability to reflect) and destruction ( of trust, relationships, nature and self).

This cycle of absencing is depicted in the upper half of the picture above.

The cycle of Presencing shown in the lower half is based on:

CURIOSITY : The opening of the mind.

COMPASSION: The opening of the heart

CURIOSITY: The opening of the will.

Social systems that operate on these principles enact architectures of connection that tear down the walls of separation.

SOCIAL FIELDS:

The cycle of absencing and the cycle of presencing denote different social fields. The cycle of absencing represents a field of destruction and social coldness. The cycle of presencing represents a field of co-creation and social warmth.

Each field tends to be self -reinforcing. E.g.: Once you are inside a cycle of absencing, inside a social dynamic of destruction, it is very hard to escape it.

The job of the leadership team is to keep moving the system from the default pull of absencing to the world of presencing.

The future of the organization and the world depends on it.

This writeup is based on Theory U by MIT Prof. Dr. Otto Scharmer.

Theory U Leadership: Cultivate the Social Field of the Organization or Society that you want to transform

Adapted from the book ‘The Essentials of Theory U’ by MIT Prof. Dr. Otto Scharmer.

Theory U makes a distinction between the different ways that action and attention come into the world. I pay attention this way, therefore it emerges that way. Or as the late CEO of Hanover Insurance, Bill O’Brien puts it: The Success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener.

In case of a farm, the field has two dimensions; one that is visible, what’s growing above the surface; and one that is invisible, what’s beneath the surface – that is, the quality of soil.

The same distinction applies to social fields. We can see what people do, the practical outcomes that they accomplish in the visible realm. But we rarely pay attention to the deeper root condition: the source and interior condition from which we operate.

Theory U draws our attention to that blind spot – to the invisible source dimension of the social field, to the quality of relationships that we have to each other, to the system, and to ourselves.

There are 4 different ways(or sources from) that action and attention come into the world. They arise from a quality of awareness that is

  1. Habitual
  2. Ego-Systemic
  3. Empathic-relational
  4. Generative Eco-Systemic

The essence of leadership is to become aware of our blind spots (these interior conditions or sources) and then to shift the inner place from which we operate as required by the situations we face.

That means that our job as leaders and change makers is to Cultivate the Soil of the Social Field. The social field consists of the relationships among individuals,groups and systems that give rise to patterns of thinking, conversing, and organizing, which in turn produce practice results.

Social fields are like social systems-but they are seen from within, form their interior condition.

To shift form a social system perspective to a social field perspective, we have to become aware of our blind spot, the source level from which our attention and our actions originate. That source level fundamentally affects the quality of leading, learning and listening.

The problem with leadership today is that most people think of it as being made up of individuals, with one person at the top. But if we see leadership as the capacity of a system to co-sense and co-shape the future, then we realize that all leadership is distributed – it needs to include everyone.

To develop collective capacity, everyone must act as a steward for the larger eco-system.

To do that in a more reliable, distributed, and intentional way, we need:

  1. A social grammar: a language
  2. A social technology: methods and tools
  3. And a new narrative of social change

Theory U resolves around a core process of co-sensing and co-shaping emerging future possibilities. But is much more than that.

Some of the leadership capacities that are at the hear of the U method include:

  • Suspension and Wonder: Only in the suspension of judgment we can open ourselves up to wonder. Wonder is about noticing that there is a world beyond our patterns of downloading.
  • Co-Sensing: You must go to places of most potential yourself because it is in these connections that the seeds of the future come into the world. Connect with these places with your mind and heart wide open.
  • The Power of Intention: The power of ‘intention’ is key. In all presencing work, the deeper intention is the opposite of corporate indoctrination. It is about increasing, not decreasing, your range of possibilities. It is about strengthening your sources of self in a world that otherwise tends to tear us apart. It is about making you aware of your own sources of curiosity, compassion and courage.
  • Co-creating: Explore the future by doing, by building small landing strips for the future that wants to emerge.
  • Container building: Creating new holding spaces that activate the generative social field.

The problem with our current societal eco-systems is the broken feedback loop between the parts and the whole.

Theory U offers a method for relinking the parts and the whole by making it possible for the system to sense and see itself. When that happens, the collective consciousness begins to shift from ego-system awareness to eco-system awareness – from a silo view to a systems view.

ENERGY follows ATTENTION

Wherever we put our attention as leader, educator, parent etc., that is where the energy of the team will go. The moment we see the quality of attention shifting from ego to eco, from me to we, that is when the deeper conditions of the field open up, when the generative social field is being activated.

Background of Theory U – Transformation of Business, Society and Self

Inputs from the book: The Essentials of Theory U by MIT Prof. Dr. Scharmer

Theory U blends systems thinking, innovation, and leading – change from the view point of an evolving human consciousness.

Drawing on the MIT tradition of action research and learning by doing, Theory U has evolved over 2 decades of experimentation and refinement.

Theory U comprises 3 key elements:

  1. A framework for seeing the blindspot of leadership and systems change.
  2. A method for implementing awareness-based change:process, principles, practices.
  3. A new narrative for evolutionary societal change:updating our mental and institutional operating systems (OS) in all of society’s sectors.

Theory U integrates these methods and lineages for effecting change:

  • Actions research and organizational learning in the tradition of Peter Senge, Ed Schein, Donald Schon, Chris Argyris and Kurt Lewin.
  • Design thinking in the tradition of Tim Brown and Dave Kelly
  • Mindfulnes, cognition science, and phenomenology in the tradition of Francisco Varela, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Tanja Singer, Arthur Zajonc and David Bohm
  • Civil Society movements in he tradition of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and millions of others who are mobilizing change in their local contexts.

Strategy Formulation: BCG Growth-Share Matrix Model

BCG Growth-Share Matrix:

The Boston Consulting Group, a leading consulting firm, developed and popularized a portfoilo analysis tools that helps managers develop organizational strategy based on market share of businesses and the growth of markets in which businesses exist.

The 1st step in using this model is identifying the organization’s strategic business units (SBUs). A Strategic business Unit is a significant organization segment that is analysed to develop organizational strategy aimed at generating future business or revenue.

Exactly what constitutes as SBU varies from company to company. In bigger organizations, and SBU could be a company division, a single product or a complete Product Line.

In smaller organizations, it might be the entire company.

Eventhough they vary drastically in form each SBU has the following characteristics:

  1. It is a single business or collection of related businesses.
  2. It has its own competitors.
  3. It has a manager who is accountable for its operation.
  4. It is an area that can be independently planned for within the organization.

After identifying the SBUs, the next step is to categorize each SBU within one of the 4 Matrix Quadrants:

  1. STARS – Star SBUs have a high share of a high growth market and typically need large amounts of cash to support their rapid and significant growth. Stars also generate large amounts of cash for the organization and are usually segments in which management can make additional investments and earn attractive returns.
  2. CASH COWS: SBUs that are Cash Cows have a large share of a market that is growing only slightly. Naturally, these SBUs provide the organization with large amounts of Cash, but since their market is not growing significantly, the cash is generally used to meet the financial demands of the organization in other areas, such as the expansion of a STAR SBU.
  3. QUESTION MARKS: These category of SBUs have a small share of a high growth market. These are “question marks” because it is uncertain whether management should invest more cash in them to gain a larger share of the market or deemphasize or eliminate them. Management will choose the 1st option when it believes it can turn the question mark into a star, and the 2nd option when it thinks that future investments would be fruitless.
  4. DOGS : SBUs that are dogs have a relatively small share of a low-growth market. They may barely support themselves; in some cases, they actually drain off cash resources generated by other SBUs. These are the SBUs which are likely to be shortlisted for deemphasize or elimination.

PITFALLS of the BCG Growth Matrix Model:

The matrix does not consider factors like:

  • Various types of Risk associated with product development
  • Threats that inflation and other economic conditions can create in the future.
  • Social,Political and Ecological Pressures.

A LEARNING ORGANIZATION

A LEARNING ORGANIZATION is an organization that does well in creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge, and in modifying behaviour to reflect the new knowledge.

Learning organizations emphasize systematic problem solving,experimenting with new ideas, learning form experience and past history, learning from the experience of others, and transferring knowledge rapidly throughout the organization.

According to Peter Senge, the 5 features of a learning organization are:

  1.  SYSTEMS THINKING: Every organization member understands her own job and how the job fits together to provide final products to the customer.                                                        
  2. SHARED VISION: All organization members have a common view of the purpose of the organization and a sincere commitment to accomplish the purpose.                                                       
  3. CHALLENGING OF MENTAL MODELS: Organization members routinely challenge the way business is done and the thought processes people use to solve the organizational Problems.                 
  4. TEAM LEARNING: Organization members work together, develop solutions to new problems together, and apply the solutions together. Working as teams rather than individuals will help organizations gather collective force to achieve organizational goals.                                                                                         
  5. PERSONAL MASTERY: All organization members are committed to gaining a deep and rich understanding of their work. 

Consumer Decision Making & Relationship Marketing

The Consumer’s decision to purchase or not to purchase a product or service is an important moment for most marketers. It can signify whether a marketing strategy has been successful or not. Therefore, marketing people are interested in the consumer’s decision making process.

For a consumer to make a decision, more than one alternative must be available, including the alternative called making a decision to not buy or not buy now.

The various models of 

  1. Consumers View
  2. Passive View
  3. Cognitive View
  4. Emotional View

depict consumers and their decision making processes in distinctly different ways.

An overview consumer decision making model ties together the psychologist, social,and cultural concepts into easily understood network. This decision model has 3 sets of variables: input variables, process variables and output variables.

Input variables that affect the decision – making process include commercial marketing efforts, as well as non commercial influences from the customer’s sociocultural environment. The decision process variables are influenced by the consumer’s psychological field, including the evoked set or the brands in a particular product category considered in making a purchase choice.

The psychological field influences the consumer’s recognition of a need, pre purchase search for information and evaluation of alternatives.

The output phase of the model includes the actual purchase (either trial or repeat purchase) and post purchase evaluation. Both pre purchase and post purchase evaluation feeds back in the form of experience into the consumer’s psychological field and serves to influence future decision making process.

GIFTING:

The process of gift exchange is an important part of consumer behaviour. 

Various gift giving and gift receiving relationships are captured by the following 5 specific categories in the gifting classification scheme:

  1. Intergroup gifting: A group gives a gift to another group.
  2. Intercategory gifting: An individual gives a gift to a group or a group gives a gift to an individual.
  3. Intragroup gifting: A group gives a gift to itself or its members.
  4. InterPersonal gifting: An individual gives a gift to another individual
  5. Intrapersonal gifting: A Self Gift.

Consumer behaviour is not must making a purchase, it also includes the full range of experiences associated with using products or services. It includes the sense of pleasure and satisfaction derived from possessing or collecting “things”. The outputs of consumption are the changes in feelings,moods, attitudes, reinforcement of lifestyles, an enhanced sense of self; satisfaction of a consumer related need; belonging to groups; and expressing and entertaining oneself.

Among other things, consuming includes the simple utility of using a Superior product, the stress reduction of a vacation, the sense of having a “sacred” possession, and the pleasures of a hobby or a collection. Some possessions serve to assist consumers in their effort to create a personal meaning and to maintain a sense of the past.

Relationship Marketing impacts consumer’s decisions and their consumption satisfaction. Firms establish loyalty programs to foster usage loyalty and a commitment to continued usage of their products and services.

Relationship marketing is all about buildign trust between the firm and its customers and keeping promises made to the customers. Therefore the focus is always on developing long term bonds with customers by making them fee special and by providing them with personalized services.

How is your relationship marketing doing?

MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS

managementinnovations2020@gmail.com; manojonkar@gmail.com, 919375970812