Influencing Disruption

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There are two ways to look at disruption.

Influencing Disruption

The first one is to be Zen-like and let the future unfold on its own, organically. The second one is to strike a spark, within our minds first, and then let the flames mold the world.

We would not qualify as the fittest of all the species if we just sat back and let external change take total control of our own evolution. We stand apart from all other species because we make choices and take a step ahead. Thus, we need not just stay ahead of the curve but influence the occurrence of curves.

First, let’s get cognizant of what is changing at an unprecedented pace around us and then figure a way out to step ahead of it.

What is changing rapidly is data exchange, amounts of automation, computing in the cloud and the interactions between these artificial, systemic intelligences with humans and the human mind in real-time.

Though these changes are, originally and essentially, human created and did not drop from unknown heavens, they are creating a sense of trepidation and massive uncertainty among the larger part of the population. It is like all the futuristic stories and the science fiction we created a hundred years ago is becoming reality. It is like all of Isaac Asimov’s imaginations are coming alive. It is like the heavens are sneering down at us and saying “You are getting what you wished for.”

While it is true that 4.0 is our own creation many sectors and industries have no idea what to do. Some believe digitizing and automating their work will place them ahead of the curve. Others are hoping these waves of change will pass them by and they will be good like before. Consider the impact this change has had on traditional publishing, traditional travel services and, of course, the traditional taxi services. In Mumbai, last month, I saw scores of the yellow-black cabs collecting dust by the road-sides and those that were moving were actually stumbling through the times with drivers from times gone by.

To ride these waves of change, don’t play the game ‘tag’ but play ‘follow the leader.’

Recognize that disruption is not just change or adapting to change. Disruption is also not just thinking creatively of innovating. Disruption is smashing the fish bowl onto the ground and making sure that the fish learn to fly and breathe air through their gills. Disruption is putting off all the lights of the world and using the moon to brighten the earth. Disruption is accepting nothing as the status quo and then deeply connecting large variables with precision and razor sharpness.

Think about that. Companies and business models like SpaceX, Airbnb and Uber did not even exist in the wildest dreams of business leaders and innovators twenty years ago. And, given what is looming in the near future, the imaginations off Isaac Asimov will appear like child’s play.

In the world of learning and development where I hail from we believe in the habits of storming, forming and norming. In the world of ancient myth and spirituality it is believed that the world is created, sustained and then disrupted. There are parallels in these beliefs and storming and disruptions are necessary for renewals and evolution.

Here are three ideas on how business leaders can empower their organizations and positive influence disruption.

  1. Hunger with the fact that you need to disrupt your own belief systems and mindsets before you influence the world around you to become new. Do the same with your people.
  2. Practice emotional grit and resiliency towards setback and failures. Empower your people and give them huge space to fail. Recognize that failure is cornerstone for all success. The iPhone did not just come along. Others like Nokia, Handspring and Blackberry had to fail for it to be born,
  3. Recognize interconnectedness and think in systems. Make learning and agility your daily mantra. Everything is about learning. Everything needs to be stormed, formed and then normed and stormed again.

Revolutions and renewals require courage to take action despite uncertainty. There are no best practices and no strategies that guarantee success.  And, as with all things in life, the first step is the hardest. Lift the first stone of your choice and then slam it down to break ground for a brand new world.

P.S.

  1. This and many other articles of mine appear in Business World, Philippines. https://www.bworldonline.com/influencing-disruption/
  2. This article is also a build up towards my speaking tour this July with Scott Friedman of Together We Can Change the World in July 2019. Check: http://twcctw.org/

 

 

Mind Mapping 101

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Designing a Talk

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Designing a Talk

Designing a Talk

No matter how much I know about the subject or how long I have been in the field…

Designing a talk, a facilitation or an intensive workshop is always much more Demanding than Delivering it.

You’ve got to know what your learners need,
You’ve got to know what they might want.
You’ve got to know what the managers/organizers want.
You’ve got to know almost everything about the subject.
You’ve got to know what the learners might know about the subject.
You’ve got to know what other consultants might have shared.
You’ve got to know a lot about parallel fields and subjects.

Then you’ve got to plan, sequence the flow of principles and practices in a novel way.

You’ve got to put in the heavy stuff. You’ve got to place in the applications and the relevancy.You need to consider inclusivity, interaction and the memorability of the program.

At the end of it you’ve got to Deliver a dish that is as filling as steak, light as a salad and yet be finger-licking fun to participate in.

And remember, thunder and lightning will strike you down if you make do as if you’ve worked hard for it and fish for compliments.

 

My upcoming public workshops:http://www.informa-mea.com/hrsummit

Advanced Selling Skills in Vietnam: http://www.hospitalmanagementasia.com/cacnhadienthuyet?page=5

Appreciative Leadership in Vietnam: http://www.vmi.edu.vn/news/pid/49/search/page/1/id/4544

InSpire Like a CEO: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/inspire.html

Appreciative Leadership: http://www.genesistrainingevents.com/Raju/AL.html

Corporate Storytelling in Dubai:http://www.hrsummitexpo.com/

Posts on Facebook: https://goo.gl/MXQEqU

Talks on You Tube: https://goo.gl/dVclfm

Choice Clips from the TV Show, ExPat InSights :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjf3sHaZBSo

 

A Story: A Country in Jail

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Though it is now history but it still doesn’t cease to amaze and awe me how some solo human beings were able grab oceans of injustice and flip them over for a better today and tomorrow. The only things that we as learners of leadership can look into are incidents of their lives and hope to get a glimpse of the power and spiritual structures of these giants. Here’s a peep into Nelson Mandela’s mindset from my book, the HeART of STORY.

“After spending nearly three decades in jail, a tall gaunt man steps out and announces to the world, “I was talking to another inmate in prison and he claimed unhappiness at having been unjustly locked in. At that moment, I had this amazing realization that it wasn’t I who was jailed for almost 30 years but it was my country, my nation that had been in chains much, much longer. This was the truth and it is my mission to free my country.”

Every single day thereafter, until his death, Nelson “Madiba” Mandela travelled the world telling them the story of suffering, of sorrow, and of racial injustice until the world responded to the plight of 50 million South Africans.  He then went on to become that country’s president and to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  He remains a shining example of human rights activism.  During the last few decades of his life, as South Africans worked to heal and build their nation, Mandela’s mission became that of national storyteller.  He did not just talk the promoter’s talk.  He lived his talk, upholding the vision of everything that South Africa hoped to be. Without him weaving in the right values through repeated storytelling, his countrymen might not have gotten to know and love their nation as they do now.

These are powerful stories of influential leaders in their own fields and their ability to employ and leverage the power of authentic and heartfelt stories. Each of them promoted a different core Truth and exercised a unique style through various media, but every single one of them is a raconteur in his own right.”

I am glad you like that glimpse.

Friend and Author Ramon (Mon) Garcia feeding my ego.

Friend and Author Ramon (Mon) Garcia feeding my ego.

On September 2, in Yangon, Myanmar I will run a session on The Leader as a Storyteller for managers and leader-to-be at the Hospital Management Awards.

On Septemper 12, Mumbai, India I will run a session titled Change Your Stories, Change Your Lives targetted for people from all walks of lives who want to get a grab on what their aspirations are, what is currently happeneing in their lives and then maybe knead and mold their own futures.

If you bring me a hard copy of my book, the HeART of STORY, plus leave me a compliment on Amazon I promise to gift you with a copy of my Pit Bulls & Entrpreneurs which is also a fun book filled with powerful, motivating stories about successes in starting up running your own enterprises.

Have fun and I hope to see you!

 

Stories as Strategies for Selling and Marketing:the HeART of STORY

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Ever since the first salesperson stood up on a soapbox and plugged away the scripted benefits of a heal-all, cure-all and save-all snake oil, people have become wary of commercials. They are tired of producers and salespersons pushing new products with added features in their faces. Commercials have not just invaded our homes through magazine, radio, and TV ads; they have also appeared on our dinner place-mats, sports arenas, and our hand-held devices and phones.  A former actor-comedian John Cleese, now a professor of creativity and marketing, claims marketing professionals are aware that 70-80% of their commercials and advertisements have no direct impact on sales. Yet, according to him, marketing and advertising professionals continue plaguing the world with commercials for the sake of keeping their industry alive.

Connect, Engage and Influence your World Creatively!

The same is true about other forms of direct selling, whether to individual customers or large businesses.  Salespeople keep on making linear, unidirectional, hackneyed presentations about how useful, and beneficial their products are without being concerned if all the noise they make with their flyer distributions, PowerPoint presentations, and product demonstrations make any impact at all. The truth is buyers do not buy when they are told to or sold to. They buy when their minds, memories, and emotions do a pivot upon hearing a story. It is a story that reaches out and touches them, and it is that story that engages them and turns their hearts around.

A very simple example might be that of a salesperson talking about how good the location, the construction, the price, and the potential appreciation of a piece of property is.  The same salesperson becomes amazingly more effective when he explains how the former owner, Mrs. Anderson, personally supervised the construction of the place. He can follow with another story about how the present price–much lower than the current market value– helped Mr. Smith sell his property down the street with a whopping 25% gain within a year of having purchased it.

The whole tenet of wrapping real, valuable truth in the colorful images of a story promotes the truth easily and happily.  The stories, of course, must be relevantly parallel and put across a simple, honest truth—buying the product makes good sense.

So, next time on site visit to one of your properties:

  1. Dig through the history of the property and the people that used to live there.
  2. Who were they? What was their life like? What experiences did they have in that house?
  3. Chose the happy, productive and life-changing events that occurred in that house.
  4. Tell those stories to the new, potential owners.
  5. Back up the story with the numbers and paint a picture of a happy future they can have in that home.

For more such ideas and insights to hone up your influencing skills take up storytelling as a hobby and a practice.

Here’s the book Amazon: the HeART of STORY 

 

 

 

It’s an amazing thing – this trait called intention.

Taken from the book: Pit Bulls & Entrepreneurs http://tinyurl.com/of4nnk9 

It’s an amazing thing – this trait called intention.  I can’t really tell you where exactly it is born in the human mind. In the human brain, I suspect it begins as a spark through a neurological synapse deep within the amygdala, the part of the brain referred to as the heart of the brain or the beastly brain.  I am slightly biased towards the term “beastly brain,” because once a desire is unleashed from there, it turns into a raging, screaming animal wanting to rip apart anything and everything that gets in the way to its goals.

In our previous chapters, we gave weight to identity, intelligence, imagination, and integrity as traits that enable the entrepreneur to systemize, sympathize, and synergize with reality and nature towards attaining one’s goals and entrepreneurial ambitions. Intent integrates all these traits together to drive the entrepreneur into action and consequent success.

Read more

Stories as Drivers of Engagement and Innovation

Stories may be truths wrapped in roses, rainbows, and rhythm, but they also create the future–that which is possible and which can indeed be beautiful.

When organizations slow down or arrive at a difficult bend in their developmental journey, people within the organization need hope.  They need new dreams and fresh inspiration.  Success stories from the past empower us, but it is the stories into the future–stories yet to be lived–that catapult us into action and success.

These words are etched on the mental corridors of workers in this company that supplies milk and milk derivatives to nearly half the world.

Read more

Be Not Afraid!

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I must confess that it’s been months since anyone has placed me in the interviewees’ hot seat. Also, during talks, training or other presentations I shy away from talking about myself and, usually, beg that my introduction, if any, be shortened. Then, last week, this request for a written interview from India comes about and I casually and candidly responded to it. After responding, I posted the link on my social media channels and gave it little thought until a dear friend commented and said, “Awesome interview!”

That made me go back look at the questions and my answers to those questions. It wasn’t until I reached the end of the interview did I realize that it was the last few words of my responses that earned me that “Awesome interview, ” compliment. I realize that the reader recognized the fact that while I was responding to the interview and, besides, by habit wanting to inspire others I was also indulging in positive, self talk. Today, again,  I confess I was indulging in self talk because like most every person on earth, I too am. sometimes, at an unconscious level afraid of things, of life and of taking action.

Yes, my statement at the end is more for myself than it was and is for others. Yet, I hope it resonates with you. Be Not Afraid!

Here’s the whole interview: Raju Mandhyan – International Coach & Learning Facilitator from Manila, Philippines

Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this Business/ Entrepreneurship?

Well, I have had three careers – engineering, export marketing and what I now like to call “education.”In the late 90s, after the Asian crisis, I was hungering to do something other than just “business.” I went back to study and discovered that I had an ability to clarify ideas, enter-train and inspire people. I began to do that in social and business circles when the British Council in Manila invited me to come to do, for them, what I was doing for fun, for myself. and wrote me a check for it. At about the same time I attended a conference where Deepak Chopra, Mark Victor Hansen and Ron Kaufman were presenting. From the stage, Ron Kaufman, singled me out and told me that I should be, on stage, doing what he was doing. I did and here I am.

Q2. Kindly share some information about your Business, products and services here.

Well I speak, train and coach in the areas of communications skills, business and leadership innovation.

But, here’s my first “but”, more than that I work with individuals and organizations in un-cluttering their minds, getting clarity and going after what they truly want in their lives and businesses.

My first book, the HeART of Public Speaking though caters to skill-building in making business presentations but also motivates people into creating true value. My second, the HeART of Humor, again, caters to being funny in conversations but, in reality, inspires to be kind, compassionate and forgiving to self and others. My third book, Pit Bulls & Entrepreneurs, which is a lot of fun to read tells stories of entrepreneurial successes but drives the reader into being gritty, gumption filled and practice tenacity.

Books by Raju Mandhyan – 
http://www.amazon.com/Raju-Mandhyan/e/B00J193X5A/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Q3. What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing business?

Moving from one profession to another was a challenge. It was like jumping off a cliff and enjoying the rush. It was like creating and living another life while still being Raju Mandhyan. Now, if I don’t have challenges, I go looking for some. You know what they say; challenges are the proof of life.

Q4. Do share with our readers about your discovery period when you were facing difficulties in your business?

Yes, there are moments when you feel like hanging up your guns, taking off your boots and rotting in front of the television watching Sponge Bob and Square Pants. During these times, I discovered that there is no giving up. There is one truth to this life and that is that the universe is constantly expanding and growing and we must, because we’ve been gifted with intelligence, get off that couch and grow.

Q5. Share with our readers about your experiment period after the discovery period?

Obviously, I did not experiment with surrender or resignation, I got more creative and kept plugging on.

Q6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?

Vision and strategy and goals are western concepts. I am inspired by what Professor Ram Charan believes and practices. Just keep on doing what you like to do. In what you like to do lies the purpose of your life.

Q7. How would you advice/suggest new entrepreneurs who want to start & sustain in business?

Be not afraid!

Almost like the story in this video for SIYLI

Q8. LinkedIn profile URL link https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajumandhyan

Q9. Facebook profile URL link https://www.facebook.com/raju.mandhyan

Q10 Twitter profile URL link https://twitter.com/RajuMandhyan

Q11. Personal blog URL link http://www.www.mandhyan.com

Q12. Company website & Company blog URL linkhttp://www.www.mandhyan.com/insights/ , http://www.expatinsights.com/

Culture Change

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For nearly four years now I have been working with senior executives from across the world travelling in and out of the Philippines. I have worked with groups from Boeing, UPS, Coke, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, USAID, Proctor & Gamble, Fonterra and Pepsico to name a few. In all our conversations the one statement that keeps popping up is a Peter Drucker quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Though often, I must confess, we warp this quote a bit by saying, “Culture trumps strategy all the time.”

What does this mean? And, if the meaning is looking us in the face then what can we do to move, to change, to lead and win at the marketplace and win in changing economies? Our strategies for innovation, marketing or for impacting the business bottom-line will just not work. Our plans look good on paper and stay looking good on paper. Our business agility and tactics leave us with constantly aching lower backs.

Well, here’s the inside story. All the tangible moves we make; the promotions we launch, the people we pirate and the systems we reshape are moves only on the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Doing all these things in a dynamic marketplace and a constantly changing economy is like trying to turn a ship around in a raging storm by grappling with the tips of its mast.  That, as we have all known and experienced in Reagan-speak, “Just doesn’t cut it. No way, José!”

The way to handle and drive change is to go get to the bottom of things. The way to drive change and rewrite a new culture is to dive under the ship and get a handle on its hull, work the rudders and open up the sails in the direction of the organizational desire-dream.

One of the world’s top 100 change agents, Dr. Roland Sullivan calls this holistic process “Whole Systems Transformation.” I think of his process as change from deep within, from the core and hull of a large, dynamic system called an organization.  Dr. Sullivan recommends a four-step process;

  1. Transform leadership

Work with the decision makers, the core and the powers that be. Let them, first, sink their mental and emotional fangs into meat of the dream. Let them lock their jaws on crystallizing and clarifying the direction in which their organizational ship needs to go.

  1. Transform system critical mass

Choose a substantial number of dedicated individuals whose values not just resonate but ring church bells in sync with the values and the purpose of the organization. Let them also bite into the same dream as the leaders.

  1. Transfer competency to local change agent

Power and tool up local and internal change agents to work on the daily grind of weaving and hammering in the necessary knots and nails to turn the hull around. Let them learn to stew, to steam and serve the bits with a sizzle.

Culture change

Culture change

  1. Sustain transformation

Hold your breath, let the sails bellow, paddle consistently and evenly until we, the whole system, surfs over the storm and strengthens up for the next wave of change.

Dr. Roland Sullivan, in 2009, in conversation with the newly elected Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi put together this quote with him, “Dreams are not seen when you sleep. Dreams are those that do not let you sleep.” http://rolandsullivan.wordpress.com/2009/07/

Over the last few years, Indians across the nation heard these words and made them their battle-cry for change. Today, the hull and the rudder of the ship called India is now in new hands and they look forward to riding out into seas, using Whole Systems Transformation, to drive change, to change culture.

Innovation Individuality

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Understanding, getting insights and drawing sensible conclusions about creativity and innovation has usually been a slippery process for most industries. Every individual and industry have ideas of their own. At a recent meetup with consultants in the disciplines, I walked away with three major conclusions.

One: One Size Doesn’t Fit All Idea generation, capturing possibilities and executing that flux may all be logged in and read as that we must think out of the box and we must stretch our minds but how far individual ideas can be stretched is totally made to order and custom designed. You got to come up with a process that works for you. What worked for Google, Starbucks, 3M or Evian may not work for you. You will have to mix your own brew.

Innovation by Mandhyan

Innovation by Mandhyan

Two: Execution is Key None of the names mentioned would have known how wonderful their ideas were had they not taken them to market. Out in that nebulous territory called the “market” roam beasts and beauties of undefined shape and size. You may research, reason, position, plan and strategize but it will only be the results that will give you a true reflection and a report.

Three: Make your Approach Methodical In essence, when you mix your own brew, make sure you keep track of the ingredients you use, the measures you use and how long each individual process stays on the burner of your intention and focus. I like to think in terms of preparing, persisting, percolating and performing towards creating something out of nothing, towards making new what doesn’t work well and even what may be working perfectly well. Recently, I had the opportunity to peek into how Kraft/Mondelez comes up with new products, process and promotions for their products. They partner, they purchase, they persist but way before they do all that they prepare to come up with something new. Their work areas are colorful, spacious and laid out to trigger ideas and teamwork. They nurture their research and development teams with volumes of select information; they are exposed to new theories and methods of thinking and action. All this leads to products that are yummy, a presence in the market-place that is unshaken-able and a perch where Mondelez/Kraft, always, gets a glimpse of the curves ahead.