Something important has changed
Purpose was not taken seriously in the past. It wasn’t needed. Life and business predictably went on, as planned.
Then something happened. Change velocity suddenly increased and became disruptive. The era of the digital disruption began.
The enormity of this is hard to comprehend. Our analogue (physical) world has nothing in common with the digital world. We have natural laws, just as the digital has natural laws, but they are radically different. Consider the five differences below.
|ANALOGUE WORLD||DIGITAL WORLD|
|Quantified and measured.|
For example, an electron can be measured in size and weight.
|Unquantifiable and unmeasurable.|
For example, what is the weight of a 1 (on)? Or the size if a 0 (off)?
|Finite and limited.|
Finite number of books can be printed at any given time, before trees run out.
|Infinite and unlimited.|
Infinite number of ebooks can be created at any given time.
Every snowflake, raindrop, everything is unique if studied closely enough.
Everything can be copied, and hence uniqueness cannot exist.
|Slow and predictable.|
Change is under control, and forward planning is possible.
|Light-speed and out of control.|
Change is out of control, disruptive, and it is increasing.
|Competitive and exclusive.|
Clarity on customers, partners and competitors, with little mixing between.
|Connected and collaborative. |
Clarity on purpose, to attract like-minded and like-hearted for collaboration and co-creation.
The hardest concept in the digital world is its velocity of change. When something analogue is put in the digital world it breaks. It brakes because it is too complex. Too inefficient. Too un-purposeful. But how do we ‘uncomplicate’ the complexity we have created, and make it fit for the digital world?
Analogue complexity does not scale in the digital world.
Urgent need for different thinking
The problem facing us is different and unlike anything else. The root cause of the digital disruption is not systems and processes, but the thinking behind them. The mindset that created them.
You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created the problem in the first place. – Einstein.
So what is different thinking?
We start by stopping!
Because the normal reaction is to try to figure out what to do differently. But it’s not a doing matter. It’s a thinking matter. It’s about reducing complexity into simplicity, to give us a new perspective on what is important, and what is not. Read more here on simplification.
We are largely unprepared
Nothing in Western society has prepared us for this, because it’s based on science and evidence-based thinking. If something can be proven, it is true, otherwise false.
Due to this, it makes little sense to think differently, outside of proving something right / wrong or true / false.
But in the digital world there is no right or wrong, or true or false. Once connected, there are no limitations, no morals, no certainty. And the sheer speed makes it hard to predict forward, making planning harder, and business cycles shorter-term focused.
Old wisdom for the digital world
Ancient Eastern philosophy offers new ways of looking at modern issues or problems. Ancient Yin / Yang theory holds that anything can be understood, by understanding its polarities (polar opposites).
In applying Yin / Yang theory on the issue of increasing change and disruption, we hence need to look toward a polarity, an opposite, and answer the question: what doesn’t change, and resists disruption most?
All roads lead to purpose
What changes least of all is our purpose. There are many names to describe purpose, such as values, soul, gifts, potential, etc. The word is unimportant, what’s important is its meaning and potential.
Our purpose is unique. It is our light, to shine in an increasingly noisy and competitive world, and our source of differentiation and competitive advantage.
It is also our rock, our only fixed point, in an otherwise relative universe. It is the ‘dot’ that connects all other ‘dots’. And it holds true in both our personal and business lives. Especially in business, where unique differentiation becomes increasingly important in face of growing competition and globalisation. And it affects every business, small to large, on all levels.
The key to success is the entry point
Our Purpose, whilst multi-dimensional, has a single entry point. Any other entry, and the right connection is not made, regardless of how hard we try, or how well intentioned we are.
The entry point is passion. The energy of the heart. The forward motion of wanting to do something, rather than having to do something. Our unlimited energy source that allows us to re-define what is possible.
So in a nutshell, be passionate about what you do. In your personal life and in business, and connect them. Shine your light without compromising. Attract like-minded and like-hearted, and co-create and re-imagine your business on purpose, with a mission that everyone believes in. Including customers.
He is a published author of two books on transformation. Both are available on Amazon.
- ON PURPOSE – The Path to Extraordinary Business Transformation.
- FROM ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY – How to Re-Imagine Yourself and Re-Define what is Possible.
Jesper is Swedish and apologises for any Swenglish creeping into his writing.
Latest posts by Jesper Lowgren (see all)
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