I also particularly enjoyed the chapter on “Humanness, Confidence, and Creative Competence”, and that is the basis for this article, especially as it echoes aspects Protagion has covered in previous posts:
At Protagion, we’ve also been thinking about the trend towards automation and its longer term impacts on the nature of work. Many commentators argue that the best response for us is to sharpen and emphasise our skills which are uniquely human, including empathy, compassion, creativity, strategic thinking, communication, and collaboration / teamwork. Doing this, they argue, will enable us to outsource the routine, process-driven, optimisation-focused work to robots, giving us more time to focus on where we as humans can add most value.
Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, made a similar point at a Wired forum on the future of work: “As powerful as AI will ultimately become and is becoming, we’re still a ways away from computers being able to replicate and replace human interaction and human touch. So there’s a wonderful incentive for people to develop these skills because those jobs going to be more stable for a longer period of time.” Nicholas Thompson, Wired editor-in-chief, agrees that jobs involving social interaction and social skills will be most protected in our automated future. https://qz.com/work/1423267/linkedin-ceo-jeff-weiner-the-main-us-skills-gap-is-not-coding/
People are paradoxical. We aspire to make a difference. We want to change the world for the better. That’s what makes our energies soar, our hearts beat faster, our adrenaline surge. Yet, simultaneously, most of us fear we can’t. We need reassurance.”
Blue Ocean Shift continues (emphasis is ours): “No matter how tough, confident, or polished we may appear, all of us are tender at our core. When we think about people as people, not as corporate executives, entrepreneurs, or government officials, and certainly not as human resources, we realise that, behind our titles, all of us are incredibly vulnerable. We strive to avert reproach. We want to avoid making fools of ourselves. We steer clear of revealing what we do not know. In our organisations, opening ourselves up and putting ourselves out there all too often trigger fears of losing status, respect, security, and power. So, our penchant is to cling to what is, instead of exploring what could be. This includes people at the top, whose egos are often the most fragile of all.
That is your truth, our truth, and virtually everyone else’s truth. That does not make us weak. It’s what makes us human. Not addressing these basic human truths, or assuming them away, is why so many change efforts and attempts to drive organisations to become more creative and innovative fail. They have not acknowledged and built what we call humanness into the process. The process of conceiving and executing a blue ocean shift does.
Humanness builds psychological understanding into the strategic process so that people are willing to engage fully at every step – even when they’re hesitant, may not trust one another, or are sceptical of their ability to succeed on the transformation journey. When we feel genuinely understood and appreciated for who we are as whole people, when we feel respected not because we are brilliant, bold and perfect, but because we have something to contribute and want to make a difference despite our insecurities and vulnerabilities, we stop feeling like imposters with something to hide. We trust other people. We burn with desire to honour the faith that we feel is placed in us by putting in the extra effort to make success happen.
Humanness, in short, builds our confidence to act by eliciting our emotional engagement. It relaxes us and makes us feel secure enough to reach beyond what we know and explore the as-yet unknown. It inspires us to tap into our curiosity and creativity, which are abundant, powerful and vastly underutilised by our organisations as well as ourselves.”
That chapter then goes into more detail on how to build confidence in your team to act, through three elements:
All-in-all, a great reminder for us of the importance of psychology in our respective efforts to manage change successfully, whether personally or professionally.
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