Q&A with Dr. David Bray (Pt. 2 of 3)

by | Apr 11, 2018

As CVP enters its 15th year in business, we continue to witness first-hand an accelerated rate of change in the markets we serve and in society in general. CVP and George Washington University (GW) have partnered on a new, ongoing speaker series focused on change, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

The CVP Speaker Series @ GW debuts April 25, 2018 at 6pm with Champion of Positive #ChangeAgents and Executive Director for the People-Centered Internet coalition, Dr. David Bray, at the Lehman Auditorium in GW’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) building at 6pm.

Dr. David Bray’s keynote is entitled “Needed Now More Than Ever: Positive #ChangeAgents Across Sectors” and will focus on why and how we all can be change agents in our rapidly changing world while highlighting meaningful multi-sector strategies for delivering results differently and better.

In this second of three special blog posts, our founder and CEO, Anirudh Kulkarni, asks David Bray a few questions about the topic of his talk.

Q: What three characteristics does an organization prepared for change have?

A: With our exponential era, we all need to be ready for more organizations to come-and-go and be disrupted. These include private organizations, in which market forces will exert such pressures, as well as public organizations, which may need to be disrupted or replaced.

At the same time there are certain public organizations we don’t want to fail as the consequences would be catastrophic to the public: e.g., disease control or defense. Most of us probably don’t want to trust our open-heart surgery to a startup that just showed up a few months ago or might not be around a few months later while we’re recovering from such surgery. We will need to encourage organizations (and nations, as nations are people too) that cannot fail to still be nimble and adaptive in our changing world. All organizations can be more adaptive by:

  1. Rewarding the delivery of results differently and better: Instead of striving to change organizational cultures (plural) head-on, an organization’s C-suite should visibly give permission — and reward — to those parts of the existing organization that deliver results differently and better. This will incentivize the more change-averse parts of your organization to expand their search space and provide top-cover to those prescient voices who can see future trends and successfully translate them into implementation and delivery of positive outcomes.
  2. Adapting the practiced values and goals of an organization to the changing world instead of attempting to change mission statements: Organizations that remain nimble and adaptive do so by explicitly recognizing that outcomes matter, and what an organization aims for and values on a regular basis in practice is much more important than any mission statement. What individuals in an organization perceive as intrinsically valued and rewarded will motivate them to adapt in ways that are long lasting. This then translates delivering results differently and better and ultimately transforms organizational cultures.
  3. Championing everyone across the organization to be positive change agents: Specifically, change agents are leaders who “illuminate the way” and manage the friction of stepping outside the status quo. Meaningful change happens across an organization when everyone realizes that anyone in an organization can be a change agent. There is no need to be a designated manager or supervisor. There is no need to receive formal authority to do so. By individually making improvements in the context of our own roles, this work will reverberate across an existing organization and collectively will adapt better to our changing world.

Q: What are positive #ChangeAgents and how do they help organizations adapt? 

Positive #ChangeAgents are leaders who “illuminate the way” and manage friction of stepping outside the status quo.

We need more people willing to step outside of expectations because our world is changing rapidly, in several cases exponentially, and if all we do is meet expectations and the status quo — we will fall behind as organizations, as teams, and as societies.

That said, when you do step out of expectations, you will need to have a strategy for how you will manage the friction associated with stepping out of expectations because a lot of folks don’t like it when you step out of expectations. This is partly why reinvigorating existing organizations or teams can be so difficult, and yet so necessary.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see David Bray speak live on April 25 at GW.

We look forward to seeing you at this debut event.

Anirudh Kulkarni, CEO

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