change mindset

Change Mindset - a case for Open Innovation 2.0

By Anna Koj

We’re living in the era of exponential change. New ideas pop-up at a much higher frequency rate than ever before and one of the common challenges for all organisations today is the competition for customer’s attention and buy-in. 

So, why should customers choose you? While changes these days occur more quickly and may take us in unexpected directions, it’s also increasingly more difficult to actually come up with an idea that would leave competition far behind for long. High quality is essential but it’s more a starting point than a unique distinctive success factor. What is key, is the overall user experience you build around your offering. And building successful user experience requires a well-developed change mindset. It is essential to keep an open mind, seek feedback and remain flexible to adapt accordingly, and most importantly, perceive individuals in their whole selves, and as part of a broader eco-system they function in.

Easier said than done?

Yes, and no. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, which makes it more specific and may require more work. The good news is that the secret ingredient is available to all. Stop thinking in terms of “us vs them”, start thinking in terms of just “us all”.

It’s about how WE influence collectively the society and environment around us, what contribution WE have in making our lives better, what role WE have in building solutions that will help us stay better informed or work more efficiently. It’s about thinking bigger than a single event or a new product. 

What is the role of open innovation in all of this? To succeed in this new reality, we need to employ new paradigms, such as the Quadruple Helix Model, which puts knowledge exchange, collaboration and co-creation at its core. By bringing together public sector, academia, industry and civil sector participants, we build on our collective intelligence as a society. We bring to the discussion all aspects of our lives that make us who we are and impact us as individuals, and we facilitate the development of innovative solutions that go beyond anything that any individual or organisation could achieve on their own. 

The article has been originally written for HQ - The Association Magazine and published in the July 2019 edition of the magazine, accessible online, here.

Change (Mindset) is the New Constant

By Anna Koj

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Change is a very important concept. As complex to comprehend fully, as it is common in our lives since forever. Over the years, a lot has been written and said about change management processes and techniques, developed to help leaders drive and manage change in their organisations. 

The concept of change today, however, as per its own nature, has evolved. With the development of artificial intelligence and growing innovation in the area of automation, we are witnessing changes occurring at an ever increasing speed, and becoming more and more exponential. As Yuval Noah Harari notes, we struggle with imagining the scope of change in the future because we keep using the same thinking patterns we have been using for years. 

Traditionally, when thinking about change we anticipate a disruptive force challenging the status quo, a period of adaptation, and finally stabilisation in the new status quo. However, what is more probable is that constant change will become in the coming years the new normal. This means that both as individuals and as organisations we need to look for ways to become more agile, reactive and adaptable. We need to develop tools and mechanisms to thrive even if we don’t have all the data to predict what future will bring us. What we need to work on is, first and foremost, our own Change Mindset. 

The Change Mindset allows you to fully embrace the concept of constant change, without fearing the unknown. It empowers you to unleash your creativity to proactively drive and shape change, to write your own story. Ultimately, it plays to the strengths of your whole self, as it mobilises to capitalise on your full skillset rather than staying closed in the box of any specific professional role. This broader way of perceiving yourself is crucial in ensuring success, as supported by the results of the study by the World Economic Forum on the top 10 Skills needed to Thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. While complex problem solving, unsurprisingly leads the list, skills such as creativity, critical thinking or emotional intelligence have all gained in importance. 

Throughout the year, in a series of targeted and crisp reflections, I will explore with you ways to develop, practice and empower your Change Mindset. 

The article has been originally written for HQ - The Association Magazine and published in the February 2019 edition of the magazine, accessible online, here.