Tania's Blog

Agility = The most important word for today’s leaders

Get ready for the future at Creative Innovation 2017 Asia Pacific taking place 13-15 November 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. www.ci2017.com.au

Human Intelligence 2.0 – Thriving in the Age of Acceleration

“Things are getting better and better and worse and worse, faster and faster, simultaneously.” Tom Atlee

 

Never before has one species been able to conquer or impact so many elements on Earth so dramatically. We are accelerating into the future. The rate of change continues to astonish us. Where will it end?

And, more importantly, are we the masters of our future? Will we set the direction for the economy and the environment? Will we set out the nature of the ethical society we want to live in? Or will events and mistakes overtake us? 

Agility. Perhaps no word is more important for today’s leaders. The ever-increasing pace of change demands that leaders be ready, willing, and able to quickly adapt and change course. As the saying goes, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” But how can we develop the ability to rapidly process information and change course in environments that too frequently constrain us? Indeed, while humans as a species are born to be creative and adaptable, as we go through school and work we become increasingly rigid and risk adverse. Can we become the improv comics or jazz musicians the world so sorely needs to solve our wicked problems? 

Over time, organizations can become more rigid. Rigidity is actually a feature, not a flaw, because the only way an organization can scale is by finding consistent ways to repeatedly solve a particular set of problems. However, a strength in one context becomes a weakness in another.

As the pace of change accelerates, we are increasingly asking organizations to become more agile.

That means developing the systematic ability to test, learn, adjust and adapt. To tolerate missteps, mistakes, false starts, fumbles, and, yes, even failures. That’s much easier said than done. How can organizations develop cultures that hardwire innovative behaviors such as immersive research and rapid prototyping? 

 Actions we take now will impact future generations in a most powerful way. Can we find innovative solutions to the great problems of today and those that threaten us in the future, including climate change, poverty, automation of jobs, terrorism, high energy costs, scarcity of food, water and key resources? 

We must find the great and small ideas, the human energy and a new augmented intelligence to drive forward in a world of huge potential – thanks to artificial intelligence, robotics and burgeoning human capital – while facing enormous problems now and on the horizon. Yes, we live in interesting and challenging times. 

The global economy swings between optimism and pessimism. Governments are increasingly paralysed. Many businesses are cash-rich, risk-averse, strategically incremental and lacking fresh ideas and innovation. The world needs leadership, invention, generosity and daring now more than ever. We need audacity and abundance not austerity. Individuals and organisations need to embrace bold, creative ideas and innovative solutions that represent real business opportunities and spark a revolution for courage and change. We must attack our big, wicked, problems to improve the economy and society as a whole, re-invent the future and ensure we do not leave people behind

We face the certainty of uncertainty.

Strategic creativity is increasingly valuable to nations, communities and individuals making the transition to innovation and knowledge-based economies. Creativity and innovation are vital for businesses exposed to globalisation, increased competition, consumer diversity and rapidly changing technology. Tomorrow’s competitive success will be based on the implementation of creative ideas and the ability to keep up with an ever-accelerating world. The development of agile human beings who can imagine and create innovative new solutions is the key to future success and sustainability.

Get agile at Creative Innovation 2017 Asia Pacific taking place 13-15 November 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. www.ci2017.com.au

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Tania de Jong AM is an acclaimed Australian soprano, award-winning social entrepreneur, creative innovation catalyst, global speaker and spiritual journeywoman. She is the Founder of Creative Universe, Creativity Australia, Creative Innovation Global, Dimension5 co-working hub, MTA Entertainment & Events, Pot-Pourri and The Song Room and works with diverse communities through Creativity Australia’s With One Voice choir social inclusion programs and the global community wellbeing video challenge Sing for Good. She works across the public, private, creative and community sectors. Tania speaks and sings around the world as a soloist and with her group Pot-Pourri releasing 7 CDs. She is Founder and Executive Producer of award-winning future-shaping events series, Creative Innovation Global. Tania’s TED Talk How Singing Together Changes The Brain has sparked international interest. Tania recently released her solo CD Heaven on Earth.Tania’s mission is to change the world, one voice at a time! 

Twitter: @TaniadeJong 

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