#28 The 17 of 2017

Image of the number 17 on page in a book. Book resting on gold coins.

Happy New Year and yes it’s a new year in a period of an emerging new paradigm so no better point in time to highlight the importance of 17 and the alignment between global and local outcomes!

I have referred to the new paradigm in many of my 2016 Consequences Blogs and for many of us the memory of the previous paradigm is still alive and well. One of the best ways to understand the differences in paradigms is through looking at the eras of both today and yester year.

The former era – industrial era – was an important era and much more than about steam! It was responsible for beginning the dialogue of organizing teams, their division of labor and measurement of team efficiency. As I learned more over my study (did I happen to mention I am almost ready to submit the PhD!!!) the biggest challenges between the previous industrial era and the now purpose economy is that the kind of successful organisation has greatly shifted. Therefore many of the previous strategies no longer support todays organisations nor are they fit for purpose. For example many of the management and predictive strategy approaches are more akin to the linear life of a 1950’s organisation than the fluid life of the 2017 and beyond organisation.

In addition to this many of the systems and structures are designed to follow approaches that are also no longer fit for purpose and therefore not effective in dynamic fast changing times. In the Industrial Age the balance sheet of a typical Charity was full of physical assets that the organization had developed – this is where the concept of having reserves to cover shortfalls in funding (particularly government) was created. In spite of this many Charities have an edge for the purpose economy because they have been operating from less structured foundations.

The trick is to find a new level where the fluidity that is cultivated from Charities can help influence the business sector and vice versa. As business seeks the best way for it to find purpose and the charity sector turns its gaze towards the most effective way to capitalize its purpose they are both heading into a new paradigm and one which, demands collaboration more than competition.

Carlson describes this journey well and as a point of difference between P&L Thinking and Balance Sheet Thinking. P&L Thinking is having a focus on savings on suppliers; strategies that might produce sales appointments where Balance Sheet Thinking has a focus on developing new product lines; open up channel partners; access strategic investment; file patents. Carlson advocates for the importance of both which I of course describe as STRADDLE™ – balancing the tension between structure and spontaneity.

I am convinced that one of the most effective ways to travel this journey into the new paradigm – especially as it leads to a paradigm that is dynamic and re-forming by the moment – is in alignment between the outcomes both at a global and local level. I also find it most enlightening that at a point in time when such need is becoming common knowledge (a PhD is only one source to arrive at this point and great for the underpinning knowledge) and common wisdom highlights the need for alignment but appears very stuck in the how or more to the point adopts old methodologies of the previous paradigms such as – competition, predictive strategies and top down command and control.

Although the challenges are broad I am further delighted that the realization for change is supported globally in the form of the United Nations 2015 Global Goals -also known as Sustainability Development Goals- (Consequences Blog 21; 24; 25; 26). These are unlike the Millennium Goals (and any that went before them) as it is the first time that 193 countries across the globe have agreed that such aspirational outcomes are for both domestic and international developments. Until now there has always been a strong international developing countries approach. There is now recognition that the issues that the 17 Global Goals cover are issues (no matter where you live) that require improvements and changes that must be achieved even before 2030 – being the timeline of the Global Goals.

Whilst such need devastates me I am filled with excitement as countries like Australia, which have yet to create their own overarching outcomes frameworks to provide direction across life transitions can simply adopt the United Nations Global Goals. After all Australia is one of the 193 United Nations members who have signed up to the Global Goals. There is some great work that has already started in Australia including signatures of business support through the work of Global Compact Network Australia, advocating organisations like Global Goals Australia and engagement across all sectors with a strong lead from the Community Council Australia and #AusWeWant – just to name a few!

For all the joint alliances I am associated with I bring this dialogue into the local domain ensuring there is alignment between the global (macro) and local (micro). Feeling confident with a PhD of study around the tension between the macro and micro it is this pathway of balancing (or STRADDLE™) that I propose will assist with the navigation of the new paradigm no matter the sector base.

One point I know for sure is it is not about one sector imposing its approaches on the other and very easy to fall into this trap for example, believing the solution is simply for Charities to become more business like. My challenge to all is if such steps of alignment between the global and local goals are not made there can be no emergence. Reduced emergence means transformation will be stifled and due to the pace of paradigm shift successful results are dependent upon the ability to enable emerging change – more importantly the next paradigm is dependent upon this.

In Consequences Blog #26 I referred to the Five P’s of the Global Goals acting as an umbrella to the 17 Global Goals. Part of my new year resolution is to share this news of the Global Goals as widely as I possibly can. My next 17 Blogs will be devoted to each one of the 17 (after all it is 2017). I will also share some of the theoretical underpinnings and knowledge gleaned from my PhD. I am keen to share how the Global Goals can be individually and collectively considered both personally and professionally to enable positive social impact.

Just imagine for a moment each person and organization doing this alignment in their own way but coordinated through a global framework leaving the world in a better place for generations to come!

I’m in – Very keen to keep this dialogue alive throughout 2017 and beyond.

Here’s to an exciting 2017!

References

https://www.dent.global/why/

http://www.waynevisser.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/sdgs-diagram.png

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

http://www.unglobalcompact.org.au/2016/09/07/gcna-launches-ceo-statement-of-support-for-the-sdgs/

The Global Goals www.globalgoalsaustralia.org

#AusWeWant http://communitycouncil.com.au/content/australia-we-want-first-report

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