What if every business had a sign on it’s front door that read “Under Renew Management”.
Wouldn’t that send a powerful and positive message to employees, customers, and the world?
I believe it would and, as a futurist, I recommend that you put up the sign and then get down to the serious and challenging work of creating a culture that strives to renew itself every day.
What would such a culture look like? What would it consist of? What would it feel like?
The culture would take seriously the idea that “change is the only constant” and embrace futurist’s Alvin Toffler’s prescient advice that the future belongs to those that “learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Knowledge is good, letting go of obsolete knowledge is better, and seeking out new knowledge is even better. The best path, however, is understanding that renewal requires a constant calibration between learning, unlearning, and relearning.
The next component of a company with an “under renew management” philosophy would be one that they embrace–and encourage all of their employees to adopt–a “growth mindset.” Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has done a great deal of work in this area but one of the primary characteristics that distinguish individuals with a fixed mindset from those with a growth mindset is that the former view failure as a negative, whereas those with a growth mindset see failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a springboard for growth and stretching one’s existing abilities. (Here’s a good primer on how you can help your employees cultivate a growth mindset.)
As to what an “under renew management” culture might feel like? It will feel like nature. I say this because it has become clear to me that all of us–businesses included–must understand that the future is not about controlling nature (as it has been since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution), it is about becoming part of nature. (As one wag once said, “The modern economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the environment.”)
Why nature? Because nature has learned how to constantly regenerate, renew, and recreate itself and if we don’t do the same, we simply won’t survive. Therefore, I encourage all of you to immerse yourself more in nature–appreciate it, study it and learn and relearn its incredible wisdom.
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