Do you feel like the world is spinning faster these days? Are there too many things happening simultaneously? Is the pace of your life too fast? Are you looking for a way to keep things under control? How can you control people and events around you when deep down you know you can’t even fully control your own life?
These are popular questions of our era. We all desperately look for answers. We desperately read how-to books. We eagerly learn about “the Nine Things Successful People Do Differently.” Yet, not much changes… Have you ever wondered why?
We want to control our lives. But maybe in the universe there is no such concept as “control”… Maybe it is not even a real human need but simply a desire or an illusion…
I know how you feel. It is difficult to even entertain such thoughts. After all, we, the modern man, grew up with a heightened illusion of control. We are the descendants of generations, who spend their entire lives battling against the mightiest enemy of all times: Nature. Our ancestors, after great struggles, triumphed over storms, earthquakes, and plagues. Then they said to themselves: “If I can control the mighty nature, I can control anything I want!” Obviously they were referring to controlling people around them…
We think greater control will bring us greater happiness… However, when I look around, I see a lot of my friends being overworked. I see a lot of my clients suffering from stress. I see a lot of businesses experiencing acute anxiety. I think all of these have the same root cause: There has been a mix-up over control and order!
But anyone with that has a bit of inner vision knows that you cannot control the behaviours of our families, communities, and employees.
According to depth psychology, we all have an inner ruler, a part of the collective unconscious who occasionally wants to exert its influence over people. The Ruler Within wants to create order out of chaos; it enjoys taking charge, it glorifies stability (Ironically, just like control, stability is something that does not exist in the Universe!)
“Exerting power to events around us” is certainly a basic, archetypal human need. We all possess the Ruler energy. We intrinsically know how to access it and how to channel it. However, when we lose sight of our inner Ruler, its shadow takes over. Our need to exert power turns into “our need to dominate.” The shadow Ruler starts seeing itself in a magnifying mirror, thinking its has more power than it actually has.
Then the “delusion of control” kicks in. The shadow Ruler becomes a mini tyrant; wanting to control everything that goes around us. Would you be surprised if I told you that a tyrant could even change the dictionary meaning of the word “control?” Until the end of the medieval time, control actually meant, “to verify!” With the rise of science and positivism, unconsciously we took our need to verify and turned it into the need to dominate.
Generation after generation we believed in the false dream of control, especially at the workplace. The result is burned-out employees, paranoid managers and short-sighted organizations. Since we cannot see that control is just an illusion, we think we should have it. And when in reality we can’t control our employees, projects, change initiatives, we get a sense of failure…
Today, the Chaos Theory shows us that order is inherent in chaos. The Universe is ruled by chaos. Nature uses chaos to create new entities. The Chaos Theory makes it clear that during a chaotic process we cannot predict anything, but we know that we will always end up creating order.
The first thing I told my staff is that we would be in command and out of control.”
U.S. General Paul Van Riper
Letting go of order and predictability is a tough pill to swallow for business people. At the end of the day, modern business is a product of the command and control philosophy, which was borrowed from the military. Unfortunately, the archetype of modern business is “war.” A close look at our business jargon should suffice: We have objectives, mission, strength and weaknesses. We fight for market share against competitors. We launch campaigns. We target customers…
Current situation might seem bleak, but as usual out of chaos comes new order! U.S. generals realized that no plan survives contact with the enemy (A truly chaotic situation) Today, the U.S. military strategy is based on the “Commander’s Intent”, which is a crisp and plain-talk statement that specifies the goal and the desired end-state. How the intent is actually achieved is up to the unit. The commander just states his intent but does not control the execution. Seems like even during wartime commanders can let go their need to control. Why can’t we do the same?
Working with a destination is arguably the toughest brand assignment. Experts, such as Simon Anholt think that you cannot “brand” a place in the traditional sense of the word. As someone who got involved in a couple of place branding projects, I tend to agree. Here is why…
Back in the day, life was easier for professional associations: Whether you were a lawyer, or an accountant, or a doctor, you would want to be a member of your professional association. Associations used to be the voice of the profession. They had unquestioned authority. Membership meant prestige. Associations used to connect smart people through their popular networking events. They would train members, helping them to keep up with the latest developments. Not to mention associations were strong social support groups. Unfortunately, those days are gone. The Internet, and eventually the social media drastically changed the playing field. Many associations went into an existential crisis. The ones who wanted to go back to the days of glory decided to rebrand, which they perceived as a cosmetic exercise. Not surprisingly most of their members shrugged, feigning indifference. Here is why…
Another new year, another collection of top trend reports!
What was trending in 2013? Which trends will still be relevant in 2014? And, what emerging trends you should pay attention? We have all the answers!
Enjoy these great reports, share ‘em with your friends and let me know if you have any other good ones.
Happy holidays to all!
Almost all of us buy private label brands (PL). But have you ever wondered why? Low price is a key reason, but does it suffice to explain it all? What goes through our mind when we are buying PL? What happens afterwards? Which archetypal forces are controlling us? Let’s speculate a little…Read the rest of this entry
The World Health Organization defines the meaning of health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” If health means more than being just physically well, then how healthy do you think the following three facts can be?
I was interviewed by Samantha J. Manniex, a passionate blogger and a place branding practitioner from the UK. It was a fun and insightful conversation. I am posting three questions and answers about my methodology. If you want to read the full interview, please click here.Read the rest of this entry
This week we interviewed Yeşim Kunter: a world-renowned play expert. Yeşim is best-known as the “woman who makes CEO’s play games.” She understands behavior of people to create new organizational experiences. Before founding her independent consultancy she worked for Hasbro, Lego Group, and Toys R Us in New York. As a futurist at Hasbro she was part of an innovation team dedicated to uncovering disruptive new play experiences for children and adults. Currently Yeşim is an independent consultant for developing PLAY to Innovate Workshops for 500 Fortune Companies, giving speeches on Play at Universities and conferences such as World Innovation Conference at Cannes. Let’s see what Yeşim has to say about the future of organizational development!
Look around you. They are everywhere: The over-worked… The under-appreciated… The under-valued… The lost… The professional zombie… Today’s professionals are not happy at work and I think our thirst for meaning is at the core of the problem.
Follow your bliss and doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.
Did you know that the success rate of a place-branding project is less than 15%? Turns out that most of the place-branding initiatives are prematurely ended within a year of introduction. You might think that such a high failure rate is outrageous. Unfortunately, as someone who has been involved in a couple of place branding projects, I must concur with the results of the research. Let’s see what we can do about that…