I love Podcasts. They are the most amazing, free source of ideas and inspiration. A fantastic learning tool for the inquisitive. Or as Einstein apparently stated “I have no special talents I am only passionately curious”.
This curiosity lead to me listen to NPR´s How I built this with Simon Sinek where the host, Guy Raz discusses Sinek´s book the Infinite Game and how it is especially relevant in this new working environment.
Sinek has 5 key topics: (my summary not his).
1, “Advance a just cause.” Having a vision isn’t enough, we need to have a cause to contribute to. Define your cause, what will you sacrifice for that cause?
2, Building trusting teams: self-evident; we are no good on our own, but we are remarkable in groups. Create strong cultures without fear of retribution. Nothing better than being on a trusting team.
3, Study a worthy rival: Business has no finish line. Often obsessed with a small set of arbitrary metrics. Great organisations see other companies as rivals not competition. Their strength revels our weakness and our opportunities to improve.
4, Demonstrate the courage to lead: simply put, have the courage of your convictions and lead the way you would like to be led.
And finally, perhaps most applicable to where we find ourselves today.
5, Prepare for existential flexibility: the ability to make a 180° turn in short period of time. Normally, it only happens once or twice in a lifetime. Tech changes, such as what the internet did to video rental stores, what digital photos did to Kodak etc.
What Sinek suggests is that what is happening now is not really anything new in business terms. It is always happening but perhaps not at such an alarming rate as now!
Thus, those companies that are prepared & willing to be flexible have great opportunities. As an example, I can offer an insight into my little company, Team Dynamics.
We were a Team Building company with 28 years of experience in offering tailored team training activities for a range of organisations, be it indoor or outdoor. In March 2020, we were due to have our biggest monthly billing. Well you know what happened next!
We are now a focused Team building company motivating remote teams. Within 2 weeks of our pivot, we had our first confirmation for 120 pax, with more in the pipeline. What have we learnt from this?
- Most amazing is that most enquiries are from organisations who haven’t worked with us previously.
- Group sizes are so much larger than we would have dealt with in the “old days”. Up to 1800 pax in one virtual event.
- Clients want 3 things: customised activities, connecting people in a fun way, making use of the training opportunities given by our tech.
- An even greater focus on concrete objectives and how to engage their teams.
- Traditional training organisations have realised that gamification is going to be essential for their continued existence.
- The impossible has become possible, disruptive companies can deliver motivation and engagement in a virtual environment.
- When we get back to the “new normal”, digital training and motivation is here to stay and is going to be a core to many organisations.
For a curious person, of a certain age, I have never learnt so much in such a short period of time. It has been fun and “almost” exciting. There is no going back.
Yes, our short-term business has disappeared but long term we will be in a much more competitive position. Due to our tech being our one of our USPs, targeted marketing has helped us be front of mind for many clients. Rivals will come and go but we are now on a continuous learning curve.
Simon Sinek was asked in the interview what he had learned from recent events, in simple terms he said service. (again, to précis his words)
“For the first time in my life, any of our lives we are connected to every human being on the planet. For the first time we are all sharing the same experience, a shared hardship.
We have a real opportunity to learn how to be of service to each other”