Rest in peace Dinosaur corporations, it’s time to let evolution do it’s thing — I’m done.

Flux has been going for 6 months (read Jim & my original posts for contrast) and when we started it was the most purposeful and energised I have felt for a long time. We started working with good clients, doing good work, it all felt great! We felt well on our way towards our vision of liberating organisations for human and commercial benefit.

It was liberating, until recently…

It kind of all caught up with me. I’ve found myself getting more and more caught up in the nonsense the permeates most big organisations. In the words of a recent acquaintance:

Most organisations, really have reached peak nonsense

The beauty and the trick to being a great consultant is to affect a system but not be infected by it, but recently that has not been the case. I’ve spent time in utterly pointless meetings, working with organisations whose most senior leaders still see the world as if the internet hadn’t been invented yet, or who have very little time for making workplaces more human, or who are just trying to flog the same old products that people don’t really want. I’ve travelled too much. I’ve done rounds and rounds of iterating on proposals and I’ve been tired.

The contagion of corporations

Like anybody I guess, I’m at my best and most impactful when I’m fresh and creative. When I’m sharing big ideas, provoking people to think differently, sharing alternatives for people to redesign their businesses and helping them take fast and impactful actions. But recently I’ve been drained from it.

The feeling is quite remarkable actually. Recently I had a full day’s meeting doing nothing in a basement and left feeling:

  • totally uninspired,
  • a bit depressed,
  • like I’d literally forgotten all the stuff I’ve learnt and know.

Things I can usually philosophise about for hours had suddenly escaped my brain. It was as if my neurons had suddenly stopped connecting!

And this was the moment when I realised that I was being more infected by big organisations than I was affecting them. And so last week I went to teach on HEC Paris’s Exec MBA programme. A group of really open minded and kind students from all sorts of industries, and I opened my talk with something along these lines?

I think you need to ask yourselves two questions:
Can you change this big company enough to be fulfilled?
If ‘no’, then leave.
If yes, Do you have the stomach for it?
If ‘no’, then leave.

I know that helping big organisations change by even a small percentage has a huge impact, but the cost on my own creativity is far far too big. Ultimately, I’m yet to see an example of a big organisation ‘transforming’ and so my conclusion is this:

I’d rather let evolution decide whether these organisations are fit to survive the 21st century.

Enough moaning. What has been fulfilling?

So Jim and I would like to put our collective efforts elsewhere. Some of the most fulfilling work we’ve done in the last 6 months has been:

  • helping a small creative organisation to get its mojo back
  • helping Exec MBA students to see organisations through a new lens
  • helping a group of young people to change their workplaces
  • helping a small group of guys to start a product company to help children be emotionally literate
  • helping a group of Albanian entrepreneurs to launch their companies
  • helping a high growth company to get back in tune with their founder’s original values
  • helping the CEO of a €billion organisation to have a strong vision for the future
  • supporting a great guy to have a strong impact on his organisation

Time for a reboot

And so with this new found energy and after a week of clarity in the waves of Porto, it’s time for a change. This change in our focus will be:

from clients to customers
from organisations to people
from consultants to buddies building together

Some wonderful changes are coming as we ‘destroy & rebuild’ flux and get it ready for v2.0.

Stay tuned to Jim’s medium for an update on what this really means soon.

Be well. 
Jon


PS. This isn’t to say that it’s a waste of time helping big orgs change. I’m just saying that Jim & my energy is elsewhere. If you are a big organisation who needs help, please get in touch and for the continuous coaching and implementation needed we can put you in touch with some super smart friends of ours at August, The Ready, Hyper Island, and more.

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