How to lead change in 2017

Change is inevitable. Just look at 2016: Brexit, Aleppo, Trump, climate change.

How we respond to change is a choice. Some people fear change. Others freeze in its presence. Visionary leaders transcend change and lead it.

Think Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa.

Each became the change they wanted to see in the world.

You can too.

Did you know the cells in your body change 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times every second and 4,500 stars are created in the Universe every second?

Everything changes inside us and outside us… all the time. You were born to create in this constantly changing Universe. You can be creative everywhere.

So, why are the majority of our institutions – education, government and business – still designed to resist change and stifle creativity?

The impact of this inaction is catastrophic – climate change, conflict, refugees, poverty, health, financial crises – it’s destructive.

So, what’s the problem?

The institutions? The bureaucracy? The legacy we inherited?


It’s easy to blame the system and forget we are the system.

Organizations are just collections of people. Your organization is a fractal of you.. so are your cells… and so is society.

Peace isn’t something The Red Cross deals with in Aleppo, it starts inside each of us. Sustainability isn’t the UN’s mandate, it’s up to us. Vision isn’t the CEO’s responsibility, every leader is responsible for their own vision.

Everything you need to respond is embedded within each of the 70 trillion cells inside you.

So why have we created institutions that stop these intrinsic capabilities from flowing?

We believe the problem lies with our education system. It was designed for another age.

In the world’s most popular TED Talk, Sir Ken Robinson asks ‘Do schools kill creativity?’

Yes, they do. It’s not just schools or creativity though.

Our entire education system, from primary to business school, focuses primarily on extrinsic, intellectual, learned skills such as reading, writing, arithmetic and later strategy, management and finance, rather than intrinsic, intuitive, natural capabilities such as creativity, agility, vision, leadership, collaboration, courage and resilience.

Yes, extrinsic skills are important to ensure we get things done. That’s enough when little changes. But when everything changes as it is today, intrinsic capabilities are required to ensure we identify the right things to get done.

Is it a coincidence only 13% of leaders say they are excellent at building global leaders and only 13% of employees feel engaged by the organizations they work for? We think not.

People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.

It turns out the opposite is true too. Visionary leaders inspire people to lead change. And being a visionary leader starts with articulating your vision, what we call your Life Purpose.

Do you know what your Life Purpose is? If you do, it will give you the focus you need for 2017. If not, it might be a good place to start.

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