The need for new guiding principles

Preparing the Dream (2/5)

Do not think reality, the only one is the one we experience! It’s even more important today to remind us of this key principle, as we continue to try to solve the problems, with the mindset of yesterday.

Sometimes, I wake up with this uncomfortable feeling that the gap widened during the night between my perception of the current reality and the reality in which most of us continue to live. And it’s a big problem if the reality of 2021 is not brought to our collective conscience.

In particular, our leaders need to read my previous blog posts. For me, it’s a little silly that they continue to be tempted to show they always do more to solve problems. And even more quickly as they emerge, when we know it will only make us hit the wall quicker!

Distance, reflection, broad consultation, and vision are needed. Hence, it is high time to rely on drivers that prove their compatibility to deliver any form of value. Remember, the ones I outlined earlier, lead us towards an even more vulnerable system. Yet, our leaders continue to blindly follow them!

Let me repeat if that is not clear enough. Distance, reflection, broad consultation, and long-term vision are necessary. Therefore, it is high time to rely on drivers that prove their compatibility to deliver any form of value. Remember, the ones I outlined earlier lead us to an even more vulnerable system. Yet our leaders continue to blindly follow them!

In this section, I will introduce you to a more compassionate framework. It is my attempt to continue the conversation with Professor Paul Gilbert. You might recall my blog post following the conversation we had with him on the key to a benevolent framework for actions.

Following research on the conditions to revive our energy and sense of togetherness, I identified the following principles.

Guiding principles of a post-COVID era

Collaboration & Co-authorshipBoth essential to establish forward looking and resilient communities. People need to be empowered to self-organise. This will never happen as long as leaders continue to hold on to power and adopt an authoritarian approach. Instead, we need them to let go and set up the conditions for this autonomy, while reinforcing the feeling of belonging to one global community.
Conversational leadershipProbably, the most important skill today! Especially, the ability to lead those which do not necessarily lead to solutions (they are what makes any civilisation advance). The power lies in the informal, side-chats and the networked system of meaningful connections. Leaders, in particular, have to recognise “they do not know”
CuriosityWe need alternative thinking. To be good at conversations, we have to be good at listening and developing options. Questioning skills are a must. No one lacks knowledge in nature, in fact, “no one is ignorant”, as Cicéron reminded us. Time to mobilise all talents.
Empathy“How similar are we?”, “What are our common challenges?…” are what will allow the powerful framing we need to avoid free-riding. They will allow us to define our shared values, and goals, on which to foster strategic alignment.
Care & respectNot just nice-to-have, they need to be internalised in all, and in workplaces, schools, etc. Government institutions need to role model Care & Respect. Both will help solve most of the root causes of our complex problems. Compassionate economics, compassionate politics, education, etc. Let’s adapt to the complex creative we have evolved.
Global acceptanceTime to stop to live life in the ‘if only’ lane. We need a collective consciousness to appreciate where we are right now. Love what we have instead of wanting for more. Accept our weaknesses and shortcomings. This is about thriving in abundance, and no longer scarcity. Can it be the starting point for everything we do?
DiversityWithout the appreciation of the singularity and diversity of all perspectives, there won’t be global collaboration. It is at the core of collective intelligence and collaboration. What does it mean concretely? Push yourself to remove borders that do not exist in real life and start getting to know outside of your bubbles. By staying within echo chambers, you reduce considerably your potential for action.
Growth mindset & HopeBoth the ability to learn and unlearn, use iterative learning (test & learn approach), and acceptance of the lack of light while taking action to create it are two of the main drivers.
LimitsLimits are always valuable but not on society. Instead, they are valuable on salaries of CEOs, on the uncontrollable ambition to climb the ladder, on the number of resources certain companies consume, etc.
Essential balances & Dialectical thinkingHow to address inequality without these 2? We have to think dynamic and essential balances. Simplification yes – not reductionism, normalisation, or suppressing parts of the whole we would not like to see. Dialectical thinking complements powerfully linear thinking, as part of adult development.

At first, it may appear counter-intuitive to apply the above principles, because that will mean we are comfortable with the ambivalence, the complexity, the instability, and the uncertainty of our worlds. Wait! Do you mean, the signs of a very wise, even exceptional, civilisation?

For me, the conditions have never been more present for this civilisation to get real.

“To dream of a different future, we need to choose fraternity over individualism as our organizing principle. Fraternity, the sense of belonging to each other and to the whole of humanity, is the capacity to come together and work together against a shared horizon of possibility.” Pope Francis, January 2021

In any case, it will be key that we never ever give up and keep believing in the dream. It is there and, one day, with the right conditions and effort, it will come. Follow me on this path to be a force for good, I have so much to offer to you. We are only at the beginning of an amazing, promising journey.

Yet, I am asking you to play your part already by sharing my posts around you. We can be much more co-leading our future. And even if you disagree with some of my reflections. “Disagree but commit” to create a better world, that’s what we need from all of us!

Those of you who would see in me a sleep vendor are wrong. I decided to give all this research for free with the firm intention to drive the conversations which do not happen anywhere else. And I will start them as soon as all content is out. One blog post on average every day, that’s my aim for the coming weeks. Stay on board! (and love to be stretched :-))

To be continued... In the meantime, let me invite you to watch this video with Euan Semple (a man of wisdom!)

Photo by Jill Burrow on

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