Nearly every week I sit down to put some thoughts out on “paper” to our WW Client Engagement Team (about 1700 people). I cover a variety of topics, with of course today’s general focus being on thriving in a chaos driven world. The text below is one of those weekly messages. In parentheses you will see the explanation of some internal terms that I use that need external explanation. Not all of this may make sense to you as it is heavily internally focused. Hopefully it still provides some value… you tell me.
To the WW Client Engagement team,
I believe that in the next 2 years we will see more change than we have in the last 2 decades. As we unfurl the flag of hope and execute into creating our future all of the things that we once did and were so proud of MUST be looked at with a whole new lens of understanding. For the last 20 years WE have all been in a transitionary stage of evolution. I’m sure that you recall a message from me, of several weeks ago where I called upon us for a client engagement process REVOLUTION. VIVA LA REVOLUTION! Little did any of us know, most certainly I did not, that we were about to be shown the door of revolution and that we were going to have two choices, go through it or not, survive by radical change or not. Thrive or not. REVOLUTION or NOT. As always, it would be OUR choice.
WE choose to serve our clients in ways that help THEM thrive. We choose REVOLUTION!
There has always been a term around our world that we used to highlight great examples of things done. It was called ‘best practices”. From the CEO of Korn Ferry I heard a great new term that frames our new challenge perfectly… BEST THINKING. This is the challenge. Where will all of the ideas for excellence and service come from in these next 2 years? They will come from the front lines of our world that are intimately engaged with the individuals that we label “clients”. You will bring us our new BEST THINKING. These ideas will reflect the changing environment that our clients are facing and their need for solutions to challenges that they are just now grasping. There is a ton of what we don’t know that we don’t know. REVOLUTION comes from the rapid execution of radical ideas that make a difference… to the client!
As we reframed our challenges for this time we faced recently we spoke about the BIG PIVOT (an “annual” operating plan ripped apart and turned into a “daily” operating style) and the power of AND. As we engage with the people around us we must open the doors to BEST THINKING and that comes from starting with a position of EMPATHY. In past boot camps (our internal 2 weeks in-person training that has now gone for good) many of you have heard me say that the greatest strength that a person can have is a natural sense of humility. Right now our 2-way conversations must start with an understanding that we do not know all that we need to know, to best serve those we choose to serve. To root out BEST THINKING we must, as Stephen Covey wrote, “we must seek to understand before being understood”. A natural sense of humility will open up the doors to understanding AND then we can examine the possibility of ALL of the possible answers needed to THRIVE. And that all starts in the mind of the client… with empathy on our part. You have all done your homework, as asked by Hendre (Hendre Coetzee is our external coach and my co-author of SHIFTABILITY). The power of understanding through the filter of empathy is becoming quite clear as I watch the many examples in COMPASS (our tool that coaches client engagement). Thank you! You are brilliant!
In the next days, weeks, and months we will rapidly reexamine all that we need to do NOW, in this brave new world, to excel in helping our clients MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The doors are wide open for those of us that choose to execute to the backside of our “challenge coin”… DRIVE CHANGE (search on “challenge coin”, we made one for boot camp grads)! Each of you own this one. Each of you can bring NEW THINKING to light for all to see. There are no bad ideas or wrong ways as we create LA REVOLUTION. Only silence is deadly. Ideas shared, developed, and brought to our world will ensure that we SERVE ENDLESSLY with PURPOSE.
This is OUR time. We ARE built to THRIVE in these conditions. Our best opportunity to serve is right now.
As a little kid in the mountains of Montana our family would many times take camping trips in the family pick up. To this day I can still hear my father launch each one of these journeys with his last call to get in the truck and hit the road… he would simply, loudly, and with passion, say…. OK, LET’s ROLL! And we were off. So my request to you is…..