“To serve the economy, the planet, and its communities better, the ONLY way forward is through radical transformation.”
Inspired by the words of Arsenio Rodriguez in his 2018 blog ‘Crystallizing a human network for change’ I believe that we can draw on the concept of the ‘imaginal cells’ – those cells that enable a caterpillar to metamorphose into a butterfly – to help implement radical transformation in the corporate world.
Nature’s mind-blowingly efficient transformations succeed in maintaining a fragile equilibrium throughout the various linked systems. Such harmony is created through nature’s complex adaptations, it is no wonder that Mother Nature is held in such revered status by the whole of humanity.
In our human-constructed world, we can’t wave a magic wand. We need to reflect, to plan, to create structure and support, before we can implement any significant transformation.
Yet radical change is going on all around us right now, how do we adapt and survive?
A new world
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world seems to be spiraling out of control. Leaders are being called upon to adapt their services, products, systems and finances to steer rapidly away from the challenges that are disrupting everyday business, trying to handle situations which are still unfolding.
Our everyday lives have been turned upside down:
- Education: from physical schooling to virtual schooling in a matter of days
- Travel: from intensive air traffic across the globe to no flights at all
- Commuting: from working in the office to working from home
- Production: from core products to immediate innovation (from mattresses to masks)
- Production: from high demand to contingency planning/storage incapacity (oil)
- Restaurants: from inhouse service to takeaway overnight
Some businesses are thriving, others are facing bankruptcy or major transformations out of survival and/or maintaining a sustainable existence.
“We are all seeking new ways to adapt and survive.”
As part of this radical transformation, individuals and smaller organisations have adapted to become ‘imaginal cells’: they are coming together to provide solutions and implement new systems. Inspired by new opportunities and driven by a desire to effectuate change, they are reinventing their purposes and methods to help their communities, support those in need, and continue contributing to the economy as best they can.
Slowly, these smaller networks of imaginal cells are uniting to become systems in themselves, creating bigger movements and leading positive radical transformation in how we are living and growing as a species on planet earth.
“This imaginal emergence is happening everywhere, unsung heroes are courageously demonstrating that a change of heart, a unified humanity and an improvement of the quality of life for all, is possible.”
– Arsenio Rodriguez
Radical transformation at corporate level
Implementing change within a large organisation has always been a challenge, with much larger numbers of stakeholders in the decision-making process. And with such uncertainty about the future, change is more difficult now than ever.
Yet with guidance, it is possible.
At CEC we specialise in conscious exploration at leadership and organisational level, identifying ways to unearth symbols, systems and behaviours that are holding back progress and performance.
We hold the tools for increasing consciousness on an ongoing basis via what we call ‘Powerful Trinities’:
- The Physical, The Mental and The Spiritual
- The I, the WE and the IT
- Human Dynamics, Symbolism and Systems
By meticulous analysis of these aspects, we can put together a formula to reinvigorate an organisation’s performance via a realignment with purpose.
Asking the right questions
In my view any radical transformation starts with becoming conscious… Conscious of what you stand for, what you want to be and how you want to serve, at both individual and organisational level.
The pandemic is offering us as leaders an opportunity to increase our awareness and consciousness in the following fundamental areas:
- Our own life purpose – the deeper meaning you want to give to your life
- The purpose of the company you lead – what is society asking from you as a company?
- The current systems of operation upon which your business is operating – both new and more embedded.
Once we have considered these questions, and the responses have become clear/clearer, we can start reviewing behaviours, human dynamics within the organisation/culture, symbolism and systems. We must hold each of these elements of company culture to the light of company purpose to discover whether they are in full support of effectuating and manifesting the purpose.
At the same time we must hold these very same elements of company culture to the light of the existing strategy to discover whether they are in full support of effectuating high/extraordinary performance and manifesting the strategy.
Evolution from within
Challenging times always present us with opportunities. As a leader in 2020, it is essential and extremely effective to review current operating systems and hold them against the company purpose to see if they are still useful and efficient, during this period of upheaval.
Ultimately, we must realise that our systems are not controlling us! Human beings created these systems so we, as human beings can choose to change them. We should not hide behind the current systems, we should be bold enough to challenge them, and radically transform those that have become inefficient, obsolete, or unfair.
Grasping this opportunity, leaders should be asking themselves and the leadership team the following questions:
- Why should we not radically change?
- What has kept us from implementing this earlier, without the urgency currently facing us?
Questioning habits, patterns and systems in this way allows us to focus on performing with purpose in mind. This simple action of aligning an organisation’s systems to its purpose allows all the individual elements to unite and work towards this purpose, and allows for a smoother metamorphosis towards a stronger future.
The ‘imaginal cells’ unite to effectuate the transformation.
Where will sustainable growth lead?
Increased consciousness is the very first step that we – as imaginal cells – must take on the journey of radical transformation.
By becoming more aware of ourselves and our roles (CEO, partner, parent, child, friend, manager, etc), we begin to reflect on who we want to be and work towards demonstrating that within each of these roles.
It is with this conscious circle of reflection, deeper understanding, insight, commitments, demonstration and inspiration that smaller transformations start to manifest in a sustainable way, leading to wider transformation, and the gathering together of similarly conscious organisations to implement significant change in the word.
And maybe, looking into the future, we can initiate and manifest radical transformations without needing a crisis such as we are facing now worldwide. We might be driven from a will to do things differently… To adapt when things aren’t working… To align and support a deeper meaning, a true purpose.
Navigating the journey
Radical transformation can be supported through expert guidance, and at CEC this is OUR purpose: to facilitate and help navigate that conscious journey for Leaders (Individuals) and Organisations (Collectives) in a safe and very practical and pragmatic way, yet touching and exploring the deeper layers for sustainable wellbeing and ultimately, extraordinary performance.
Please reach out if you are curious to find out more. We look forward to opening a dialogue with you.