A World Divided - Is digital to blame?
We seem to be more divided than ever.
Brexiteer or adamant remainer, for Trump or anti, #metoo or believe the guys are having a hard time of it, immigration as necessary or to be prevented, straight or gay, pro life or for freedom to choose?
Our world has polarised into myriad pairs of opposites. Binary yes/no, fake/real and me/you thinking is prevalent everywhere.
Although we can’t say for sure that the tsunami of digitalisation is causing this dangerous splintering of viewpoints, there’s certainly a strong correlation: at the very least, digital communication amplifies and accelerates difference and opposition. As we carry on obliviously liking and disliking all we see, we may be reducing our minds to their most basic elements, an endless chain of O’s and 1’s. Binary brains, with all the divisiveness, separation and fixed mindsets that inevitably follow.
Now I am not suggesting a return to analogue. The digital cat is long out of the bag, and will only continue its advance, at least while we crave convenience, cost and immediacy above all other considerations. What is needed is a dose of straightforward, analogue thinking for insight on how to balance too much of the polarised, binary option.
‘Wars begin in the minds of men’ are wise words from the United Nations Charter, but far too little has been done to work on the level of the mind and arrest the causes of unnecessary conflict. At the very least, we have to pursue a deepened knowledge of how to perceive otherness – unfamiliar ideas and faces – without rejection, premature judgement or stereotyping.
We need to move beyond ‘referendum thinking’. It’s a numbers game that’s a facsimile of real democracy, and only amplifies division and ranting across the debate room floor. No-one is happy with the result, not even the supposed winners.
Churchill was prescient when he remarked that ‘The empires of the future are empires of the mind’. How we think determines how we act, divided or united.'
In this lecture we will dissect and explore myriad facets that have contributed to our state of division, and how we may change it.
The Mind of a Disruptor
Disruption is the word on everyone’s lips today. Of course, it’s the current leaders who are being ‘disrupted’, usually by new, fleet-of-foot competitors who have employed digital tools and a fresh mindset to outrank the incumbents. So what does it take to be the disruptor yourself?
Key topics include:
This dynamic session enables you to create the conditions to be a successful disruptor. It’s delivered either as a keynote, or as a longer more interactive event. You are challenged to develop a dose of ‘healthy paranoia’: inspiring the urgency to act and disrupt yourself!
Does your business feel like a powerhouse of innovation? The answer to this question depends greatly on your leaders’ mindset, energy levels, and quality of attention, and the kind of behaviour they inspire and reward. Nigel’s work focuses on what it takes to create a culture of innovation.
Fanatical About Talent
It's the inspiration and commitment of your people that gives your business competitive edge. So what can you do to attract, retain, and develop the best talent? This keynote or interactive event challenges the notion of cheque book recruitment.
Inventing the Future
Companies often hire futurologists, only to be disappointed when their prophesies don’t come to pass. Taking a leaf from Apple’s book, Nigel’s creative methods are used to explore what it takes to invent rather than predict the future.
Nigel's work on Creative Leadership gives individuals 'Aha Moments' about the impact of their own style, then moves swiftly from insight to action: inspiring the behaviour in leaders that inspires creative change in their own organizations.
Nigel Barlow is one of the world’s most dynamic business speakers. He focuses on creativity and innovation applied to leadership, business strategy, customers, and the future. Nigel has helped many of the world’s leading organizations on every continent to rethink their lives and businesses. He is adept at working with multi-national groups, and he has worked with an A - Z of the world’s greatest companies.
He was a founding director of the Tom Peters consulting business in Europe and now runs his own international consultancy. Until recently he was an Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School focusing on Innovative Change. Keynote presentations, strategic offsites, and organizational transformation projects are the basis of his work.
Nigel is an author, an agent provocateur, and business rocker, favouring the after-lunch spot as a suitable challenge to wake people up. He also facilitates creative retreats with top teams, helping them to rethink whatever they are stuck on.
The power principle behind Nigel’s latest book, Business Rocks – Music to Spark Innovation, is that by playing with what's familiar we can innovate, make breakthroughs, and literally invent the future.
Rethink: How to Think Differently (Capstone) draws on Nigel’s experience, successes, and failures. Whether you’re wanting to rethink your life situation, relationships, personal creativity, or a new business idea, Rethink is designed to provoke your creative self into coming up with the answer you already have inside you.
Nigel’s first book was Batteries Included!: Creating Legendary Customer Service (Random House). Successful service brands like Lexus have adopted his theme of becoming legendary for the experience they give their customers; Nigel helped them to win the coveted J D Power Gold Award in the UK. Tom Peters says of Batteries Included, “Nigel Barlow’s book is simple brilliant! Is there anything left to say about superior customer service? The answer is obviously a resounding ‘yes’. This book proves it!”
Nigel lives in Oxford, England, and Heathrow Departures Lounge – the majority of his business is international.