Hybrid Thinking for an Inside Out Perspective
HYBRID THINKING BALANCING ORGANIZATIONAL DNA AND INDUSTRY VIEWPOINTS FOR A BETTER FUTURE
In our journey toward Transformational Resilience, we have learned that HYBRID THINKING — balancing seemingly opposing concepts that are exponentially better together than in isolation—is how we achieve our ideal outcomes. Now more than ever, leaders are in decision paralysis because of fear of getting it wrong. We need to abandon the idea that success is a career without failures. When we are willing to Fail Spectacularly and experiment with HYBRID THINKING, we can make everything that matters most to an organization—People, Business, Ideas, and Decisions—BETTER.
In my last message, we unpacked the foundational idea of Human Sustainability. This month, we are shifting our focus to HYBRID THINKING for an Inside Out Perspective. This is critical in our decision-making to solve for our unique business challenges. An organization needs to understand itself before attempting to mirror the solutions of its industry peers. Because the truth of the matter is: others’ specific solutions won’t work if the WHY behind the solution is different.
Introspection is vital, but without an outside perspective, we risk becoming siloed and the opportunity to accelerate progress. Learning from others can pave the way to our success by building confidence to create a novel solution, designed for us. When we solve for our unique organizations with an Inside Out Perspective, we unlock the full potential of our business.
HYBRID THINKING allows us to create an Inside Out Perspective, combining our organizations’ DNA with applicable industry viewpoints. This will ensure we are well positioned to operate at a higher level—advancing our business’ success while solving for community, function, and flexibility. That’s doing business on purpose.
Understanding your people enables you to discover the building blocks of your organization’s DNA—who they are, the work they do, how they work together, and what support they need – both now and as your business, work, and culture evolves. This serves as the foundation for establishing new strategies to guide your future solutions.
Once you have laid the internal groundwork, you can begin to seek external viewpoints relevant to you—and they are not always in the most conventional places. Yes, explore within your industry—identifying peers and competitors to see what they’re doing and why, but also explore outside the confines of your trade. There are leaders in other arenas solving for the same future you want to achieve. Give yourself the permission to formulate solutions free from the constraints of your specific industry.
Leaders spearheading transformational resilience balance organizational DNA and external viewpoints—bringing the best of both together to give their business a competitive advantage.
PROCLAIM WHY YOU EXIST
SOLVING FOR COMMUNITY
Your company’s authentic identity will permeate every facet of your business when a balance between organizational DNA and external viewpoints is achieved. Solving for both enables us to have a bigger impact on our Community—employees, stakeholders, customers, and clients.
A great example of a company that adopted an Inside Out Perspective to solve for their community is McCoy Rockford Commercial Interiors’ (MRCI) IdeaCollider. This new venture, co-created with PDR, is a new hub for innovation located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. IdeaCollider is a space where the health and life sciences community can come together in various ways, at no cost, to solve some of the most complex problems our world is facing today.
Experimenting with an Inside Out Perspective resulted in a deep understanding of who they are and who they want to be for their community—the glue that brings the world’s innovators together. MRCI leveraged their organizational DNA as a furniture solutions provider with ideas from unexpected sources to proclaim why they exist—to help clients explore and develop their best solutions. IdeaCollider isn’t based on selling furniture—it’s based on the premise that better solutions come from better ideas. They are bringing together a community to accelerate forward-thinking, discovery, and collaboration—and that is business on purpose.
THE GOLDILOCKS PRINCIPLE—NO SIZE FITS ALL
SOLVING FOR FUNCTION
Every business is unique, so why do we accept one-size-fits-all solutions for our organizations? The reality is No Size Fits All. No two companies—or internal business units for that matter—are identical, regardless of industry, demographics, or leadership. We need a solution that is just right for us. If we understand our organizational DNA, we can identify our unique way of working, but sometimes it’s not as straightforward to figure out how to support it best. That is why we need an expert external viewpoint to help us understand who we are and how to curate functional solutions for the complex problems we face. HYBRID THINKING for an Inside Out Perspective paves the way for the Goldilocks Principle—a just right solution.
PDR had the opportunity to bring an external viewpoint to Walter P. Moore [a global engineering company] as they were transforming their workplace. They knew they wanted to experiment with a new approach to hybrid work but needed an expert’s perspective to ensure they reaped the benefits of what they learned based on their fully remote work experience. We helped them develop a “remote-first” solution—a twist on the typical hybrid work experience— that elevated the way they collaborate. This “remote-first” solution resulted from realizing their unique team worked better together when they were physically apart.
We showed them their internal DNA through our external viewpoint by an evidence-based data analysis of their company, and helped them apply the Goldilocks Principle to find their just right solution. Now, their in-person interactions benefit from what they learned in a fully remote work setting, making both better than before, and that’s doing business on purpose!
FUTURE READY NOT FUTURE PROOF
SOLVING FOR FLEXIBILITY
The present should not constrain the future—we must be flexible when planning for a constant state of evolution.
Change is the only certainty; we need to embrace it and plan for it. The degree of flexibility we need should be determined through an Inside Out Perspective—balancing organizational DNA and the external viewpoints that shape it. Determining the level of change you will need by understanding your current state and future casting produces confidence in your ability to react to the ever-changing climate of business.
From a design aspect, flexibility is making sure the architecture is not in the way—that it is able to easily adapt to your changing organization. No building, workplace, or organization can be “future-proof”, but all should be future ready.
We believe in this wholeheartedly at PDR and regularly experiment with flexibility in our own workplaces. About half of our office is fixed and finite—we created these spaces to withstand the test of time and accommodate the core functions of our organization. The other half is very flexible and supports our core value of One PDR through a big open studio space—affectionately called our One Room Wonder. This setup gives us maximum flexibility to foster collaboration, teamwork, and community as our work continues to evolve.
By leveraging an Inside Out Perspective, we have aligned our work, workers, and workplace to thrive now and into the future. We know this works because our initial investment in flexibility continues to deliver value after more than a decade, and that’s doing business on purpose.
HYBRID THINKING requires experimentation to discover what works best for our organizations.
For our business to thrive, we must try something new, embrace the failures, learn from them, and try again. These are the building blocks toward Transformational Resilience, our ultimate goal.
Operating with an Inside Out Perspective helps us solve for community, function, and flexibility. When our organizational DNA is revealed and is balanced with unconventional external viewpoints—our communities are enhanced, our work is effective, and we begin to construct a future we are proud of.
Experimentation in action is evidence of intention, and that is doing business on purpose!
Until Next Time,