As I write this everyone is still in shock about the Trump victory and while I do not want to add to the excessive pages of commentary addressing this topic, I have been thinking about what lessons we can learn from recent events. Whatever your political orientation, I believe that there are at least two key things that may have resonance for the mere mortals among us.
Firstly, I think the Trump campaign clearly demonstrates that mistakes may not prove terminal to a career! Despite his apparent failings, supporters were not blind to his faults and voted for him anyway. Often they justified this as an acceptance of his humanity, fallibility and candor. It would seem that appearing authentic may now be more important than being perfect or walking the middle road. No longer are leaders held in awe as an elite to be deferred to and respected. Rather, there is a desire that they reflect the lives of ordinary people and act as if they understand the issues. Secondly, as someone who spent many years in the marketing research world, I have been astonished by the apparent inability of pollsters to predict either the Brexit or US vote, which may in itself have had significant consequences. It is clear that the models, algorithms and predictive statistics in use are no longer able to deal with the new world order. Could it be that the paradigms in use have become outdated? That patterns of behaviour are changing faster than the models can reflect? The business world changes at an alarming rate and while experience can be a valuable asset, it also has the potential to lock us into outdated ways of thinking with models and assumptions that are no longer relevant.
How much do you understand about the key issues your people face?
What paradigms and models of how you work need to be reviewed?
How can you gather knowledge about the most relevant paradigms?