Future-Fit Leaders Curate Connected Ecosystems
“Why are you doing this?”
This was the question asked by an influential business leader last week. We were discussing the Connectle Ecosystem and it’s potential in enabling connected business ecosystems. It was clear this way of working was a natural shift for business, but it was less clear as to why we were sharing our knowledge and enabling these future fit leadership skills, for no obvious return.
A valid question for those that don’t know the journey of Connectle.
Why would we put everything out there and ask others to do the same?
Why would we share our combined expertise without knowing what we might get in return?
In a post on Cocreation this week, John Stepper, author of Working Out Loud addressed this same question:
So, why are we doing this?
- It’s because…
we understand the desperate need for connected ecosystems in a hyperconnected world.
- It’s because…
we know it’s essential to develop skilled curators to connect these ecosystems.
- It’s because…
we need conscious leaders who lead with generosity and connect diverse perspectives
- It’s because…
we need to all step back from EGO Building and step in to embody an ECO Systems Thinking world.
- and lastly, it’s because…
we need this right now.
We are like Oceans
As we slowly come down from our addiction to social media, scarcity mentality and rewarding individual celebrity influencers — a new way of work has emerged.
The businesses aspiring to be whale-like islands, hoarding information behind silos, swallowing and restricting employees and promoting authoritarian leaders are starting to feel isolated in a hyperconnected world.
Flip this around, and aspire instead to be like a fluid ocean, allowing information to be open and abundant, enabling employees to be agile and innovative, and empowering our leaders to connect and evolve.
We don’t need our own version of everything, using cookie cutter templates. Working glocally — allows us to contribute globally and thrive locally. To interconnect the networks of rivers, oceans and estuaries, and contribute to mutually beneficial solutions.
Connected Ecosystems are Good Business
One of the most frequent objections to working collectively is that it is not good business. In the same way that hoarding information and secret black books are outdated in modern business, we need to flip our thinking about how revenue is generated.
If we take our planet as an example. We have a collective shared purpose and an increased sense of urgency, which is forcing the change away from destructive short-term business practices, towards a more regenerative business culture.
The seafood industry stands to gain $53 billion annually from an increase in marine stocks. This could generate $5 billion to $10 billion each year to spend on preserving biodiversity.
The insurance industry could see an additional $52 billion from increasing the area of protected coastal wetlands with a similar investment.
For example, an international group of researchers estimated that preserving one hectare of mangroves in the Philippines yields more than $3,200 in flood-reduction benefits each year
A Manifesto for Connected Work
Enabling connected ecosystems is not something that will happen instantly. We require an unlearning of current business practices, next stage leadership mindsets and a coming together of the various initiatives and practices that have evolved.
The Connected Work Manifesto, brings together some of the leading practices in enabling new work — Working Out Loud, Responsive Org, Teal, Coworking, the Agile Manifesto, Communities of Practice — and many more.
It’s not easy for people to work in this new way, as we are still rewarded in the current paradigm. But once we experience the benefits of leading with generosity and connecting diverse perspectives— we can expand our personal networks, connect our organisations and advance our economies, to create a regenerative business culture that creates collective abundance.
When you see a world leader openly Working Out Loud and promoting their coalition partner when announcing a new initiative this week, it feels like we may be making some headway.
Time to Celebrate the Curators
In the past, you would become an authority in a field, through years of experience and from being visible through writing and speaking engagements. In the new economy, it is the curators that are valued.
So here’s to the future fit leaders we need to enable connected ecosystems and hyperconnected businesses. The ones who connect loose themes and diverse perspectives. The ones who lead agile teams and connect disparate nodes, and the ones that co-create purposeful circles for a truly connected world.
This time is for you.