Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017 to all!


As usual on year end, let me share with you the 10 the most popular posts this year:


How We Need to Tame our Selfie Habit

The fantastic picture of candidate Hillary Clinton waving at her fans that all have their back to her because they are taking selfies is gone around the world. It is not about being there, being to meet and possibly even talk to the candidate that is important. What is important is to have a proof that “I was there” and post it on social networks!

hillary_selfieI have already written on How Narcissism Increases in Our Society, but that beats largely all expectations. Not one person seems to be facing the candidate! Actually facing the candidate will probably soon look suspicious.

This picture really questions the kind of society we are moving in. Do we want to live the experience, or be seen to live the experience? Increasingly I find it important to define moments of no-record where I can concentrate on the experience rather than concentrate on how best to broadcast it.

The Era of the Selfie is here. Seeing how it spreads, this surely corresponds to a deep psychological need. Another capability we need to learnt to tame in the Collaborative Age.


What Moralistic Judgments Reveal on Us

We should avoid moralistic judgments. And when one is uttered it also says a lot about the person who says it: “All moralistic judgments, whether positive or negative, are tragic expressions of unmet needs” writes Marshall Rosenberg.

moralistic statement needs unmetThis is why whenever we surprise ourself to speak out a moralistic judgment, it is a clear indicator that we should seek which of our needs is not met.

And conversely when someone else expresses it, we need to overcome a possible rejection and figure out which of their needs requires fulfilling.

Moralistic statements are indicators of needs unmet. Let’s focus on the needs and not so much on the contents of the statement.


What Prevents Us From Asking and How to Overcome it

Whether it’s in the arts, at work, or in our relationships, we often resist asking not only because we’re afraid of rejection but also because we don’t even think we deserve what we’re asking for” writes Amanda Palmer in her book ‘The Art of Asking‘.

Palmer-art-of-askingI find this statement very powerful and to the point. This relates to my personal experience as well, how many times I have not asked for something because I thought I did not deserve it.

We underestimate the power of asking others. Asking for help does wonders sometimes. It shows that you are ready to take on board the opinion and the help of others.

We’re often stopped in our tracks when it comes to asking because we fear of appearing inadequate. Yet when we overcome this fear we often find that it was worth asking. And that we sometimes get new possibilities open that we did not even envisage before.

Come on, ask for help and support more often. And if you feel some apprehension, it is another reason to just go for it!

Image from Amanda Palmer’s tumbler account


How True Transformation Requires Transgression

Transgression refers to a breach, and is commonly applied to breach of law. A lot of the current business model transformations happen against regulation, or use some existing loopholes (refer to our post “How Regulation is Used to Defend old Institutions“). Going further, we should ask ourselves if true transformations do not generally require some form of transgression.

transgressionRegulations and laws tend to defend the status-quo and therefore, need to evolve to be adapted to the new reality of society. In general, these changes lag the actual changes that happen in the world, placing the innovators in the uncomfortable situation of transgression of the established order.

This is a very serious issue that can stop many in their tracks, as law-enforcement can tend to be quite intimidating. At the same time, a lot of real, noticeable changes have required transgression as catalyst. Good examples include racial discrimination fights in the US and elsewhere, and even more recently, the fights of Uber and Airbnb against the establishment and existing institutions. The story of Edward Snowden and his comrades is a clear transgression that brought forth in a useful manner the issue of data surveillance by democratic states.

At the same time all transgressions are not precursors of change; many – probably most of them- are crime-related or individual expressions with no interest to change society. A transgression cannot be seen systematically as a precursor of a beneficial change.

Yet transgression needs to happen for any major change – either full or border line – and we will see more of it as the Fourth Revolution develops. We need to find a way to identify and treat generously those transgressions that are signs of change, compared to all the others that are real attacks against society. That distinction will not be easy, be prepared for a lot of debate!


Why Fulfillment is not the Same as Happiness

We often use ‘Fulfillment‘ interchangeably with ‘Happiness‘. Fulfillment is about the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted; while happiness is well… simply feeling happy.

happiness2Some people live a life of fulfillment, for example caring about others in charities or NGOs or achieving their childhood dream. Yet that is not always correlated with happiness. Indeed some senior charity executives are not necessarily happy personally!

Overcoming this confusion is essential because seeking fulfillment is a way taken by many that seek happiness. In reality happiness can happen without pre-condition, it is an attitude that is deeply rooted in the present moment.

If you seek happiness, do not engage all you energy in seeking fulfillment. It may help, but is not sufficient.

Hat tip to Rajiv Vij for the insight during an ICF meeting in Singapore.


How To Resist Adversity by Growing Differently

They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know that we were seeds” is a famous Mexican proverb. I found it inspiring when I read it and I find it is a good summary of how we should react to adversity.

seedsThere are instances where we can’t do so much about what happens to us, and we get buried. It will be tough and painful at the time.

But what is really important is to learn and grow again differently and taking into account the experience. What is important is also to learn from the experience of what happens to others next to you if they get buried too.

Strong adversity will make us eventually stronger. We will grow into a bigger and stronger self.

When faced with huge difficulties and if you feel you might succumb, let go and focus on growing back different. Be a seed of something new and unique.


Why You Should Respond Slower to Emails To Establish Your Status

The longer someone ignores an email before finally responding, the more relative social power that person has. Map these response times across an entire organization and you get a remarkably accurate chart of the actual social standing” from a study quoted in the book Focus by Daniel Goleman.

Email timingIt continues: “The boss leaves emails unanswered for hours or days; those lower down respond within minutes. There’s an algorithm for this, a data mining method called “automated social hierarchy detection” developed at Columbia University. When applied to the archive of email traffic at Enron Corporation before it folded, the method correctly identified the roles of top-level managers and their subordinates just by how long it took them to answer a given person’s emails. Intelligence agencies have been applying the same metric to suspected terrorist gangs, piecing together the chain of influence to spot the central figures.”

So, unless you are trying to hide your hierarchical role in a gang, but want rather to establish some social status, do not respond to emails immediately. Let a few hours pass before responding… this also has the added benefit to make you less addicted to your phone or email and have less remorse if you take more time to respond!


Why Who We Are Is Not What We Post

To all: be aware that what people present of themselves on social networks is not what they are in reality. “Facebook feeds the highest level of our most basic human need: self-actualization. It allow us to present ourselves in the way in which we would like others to see us” writes Mitch Joel in his blog.

facebookThis has significant consequences, in particular of course that (most) people will present themselves in a better way than what they might be or feel in reality. Also, we more often post stuff when exciting things happen to us, not when we are doing boring household chores!

As I mentioned in a previous posts, the Fourth Revolution and the virtual relationships we develop presents us with a number of challenges relating to our emotions. It is easy to get injured by a post or a comment.

The fact that people invent a sort of parallel life on their social network feed is one of the elements that can contribute to create strong emotions, in particular when it would seem that all our contacts live a far more exciting and varied life than we do.

In reality we are creating new virtual realities of ourselves online, which map somewhat but not completely with our reality. What we post is not who we are. And don’t believe that you know what people really are when you look at their feeds!


How Good Life is a Journey, not a Destination, and How to Choose our Direction

The good life is not any fixed state” writes Carl Rogers in his famous book ‘On Becoming a Person‘.

Life JourneyIt is not, in my estimation, a state of virtue, or contentment, or nirvana, or happiness. It is not a condition in which the individual is adjusted, or fulfilled, or actualized. To use psychological terms, it is not a state of drive-reduction, or tension-reduction, or homeostasis.

The good life is a process, not a state of being.

It is a direction, not a destination.

If life is a never-ending journey, how do we know which direction we need to go? Luckily, Carl Rogers gives us a clue: we need to listen to ourselves! “The direction which constitutes the good life is that which is selected by the total organism, when there is psychological freedom to move in any direction.”

Listen to yourselves, hit the direction you care about. I wish you a great journey, a great ‘good life’!


Fourth Revolution takes a break for Christmas…

Hi all followers

The Fourth Revolution blog is taking a break for Christmas and New Year as I will be travelling through New Zealand’s South Island in a campervan with the family and I can foresee scarce internet connections!

pohutukawa - New Zealand Christmas Tree

Enjoy your year-end festivities..!

We will be back early January with new content and thoughts!


Where Organization’s Innovations Come From, and How to Foster Them

There is a general rule of thumb: “80% of process innovations come from inside companies whereas 80% of product and services innovations come from partners and clients“.

innovationThe French futurist Denis Ettighoffer underlines: “too often, the utilization of networks by companies remains limited to productivity development rather than the development of creativity processes that are key to the development of value“.

I do also observe how much the “not invented here” syndrome, combined with a very low permeability of conventional organization’s borders, conspire to make companies cut off from the most precious source of innovation: clients, partners and other interested stakeholders. The development and maintenance of a highly connected network of followers is not just for one-way marketing, it needs for two-way value creation. Organizations need to get (and maybe reward) value from their clients, partners and suppliers.

This requires a deep change of strategic approaches to external partnerships. Is your organization ready for the change?

Source: very interesting article (in French) on ParisTech Review on ‘the Company of the future‘. Translation by Fourth Revolution Blog.