Never waste a crisis!

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28. April 2020

From planning and executing to experimenting and adapting, from rules and control to freedom and trust, from profit maximization to value orientation – this is what I experienced in just some hours after I met Hannah Boomgarden. I was recommended to her. Full trust, full freedom, clear WHY, adaptive and fluid agenda.

I love to inspire people. I love to do it in a short form. I actually believe, most of the TED talks should be half the length :-) Ten minutes, this is what I got to inspire an international community this afternoon between Japan and Silicone Valley, between young startup entrepreneurs and experienced managers, all together seeking for new solutions and for a “Business Survival Kit”.

Please don’t get mad at me, but survival means, that we are restricted in our possibilities. Experiencing fear or need to survive, we tend to use only our “reptile” brain, and this brain only dictates us fight or flight commandos.

How is this connected to the crisis?

In crisis, especially in complex and unknown situations, we need new, creative solutions. We need a lot of interconnections, of co-decision, co-design. Our brain is not capable to produce new and innovative ideas under pressure. So we work more, work longer, and get nothing.

We start to improve our productivity, use more tools, even AI, jet still: being productive is not being connected! And we need to be connected, now. We need diverse views on things, we need fresh and crazy thoughts, and those thoughts only can flourish if we feel psychological safety.

Startup Autobahn hosted the first virtual public virtual Meetup focusing on the Future of Workplaces and Tech. Being part of such an event is always a growth area for me. I am not in tech, not in startups. What I am in is future, psychology, and motivation at work. So here are the thoughts I shared:

Never waste a crisis

From psychological point of view, this is about how to become creative, open, innovative and joyful within crisis. As written above, our brain tend to restrict us in our resources from inside while we are thinking, this is because of the (outside) crisis.

Work is not a job

We are so disciplined, so productive. We judge our days based on how efficient they are – not on how fulfilling. We measure things, hours, numbers – and forget to listen to our inner world. We work in a hamster wheel and now we start to digitise our hamster wheel, while we could create something new.

New Work trends

Prior to the session, we sent around a mentimeter link to get insights on how the crisis may (or may not) influence the New Work. Without telling you my conclusion, here are the results:

new work trends before corona
new work trends after corona

What do you see?

What Nicole Anzinger and I have seen in our shower discussion is, that there seems to be a tendency to want even more structure and control. Too much reptile brain? Too much insecurity, too many fears? Fight or flight? Is that all?

I am sure, we can do better!

So what?

How can we get the hell outa there? Out of the fear, out of the (new digital) hamster wheel or carousel?

For sure not by becoming more efficient or more productive. No one needs the new digital hamster wheel! The real transformation needs silence ant space.

So do the eight New Work trends. All of them need silence and space to evolve, to emerge, to become visible and tangible.

Here is your To Do list for the crisis

  • Discontinue
  • Stop
  • Hold on
  • Step out
  • Take a break
  • Appreciate idleness
  • Get lost in thoughts
  • Get lost in emotions
  • Enjoy making mistakes
  • Welcome serendipity
  • PLAY the whole day
  • Read poetry
  • Dance
  • Meet people and listen
  • Don’t waste this crisis

Let us make the best out of this situation. We are unlimited in our potential. It is us, who restrict our possibilities, not the crisis.

In love,

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